Archive for category hellertown

Wilson Area High School prom 2017 (PHOTOS)

Wilson Area High School students celebrated their prom Friday night at The Meadows in Hellertown.

Wilson Area High School students celebrated their prom Friday night at The Meado…

Motorcycle crash briefly slows Interstate 78 in Bethlehem area

The westbound fast lane was being closed temporarily near the crash at the Hellertown/Bethlehem interchange.

Authorities responded to a crash involving a motorcyclist Wednesday a…

Distraction burglar claimed to be from water authority, police warn

A pair working together on Friday stole from a Lower Saucon Township resident, township police reported.

A man posing as a Hellertown water authority employee was part of a …

Man held on theft charge fails to return from work release

The Northampton County Department of Corrections provided a description.

A 23-year-old Hellertown-area man, who was serving time on for a 2013 theft, failed to return Wednes…

Saucon Valley High School prom 2017 (PHOTOS)

Saucon Valley High School held its prom Friday at Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center.

Saucon Valley High School students had their prom Friday night at Bear Creek …

Disgraced judge admits regrets, suicidal thoughts, but not misconduct

Former district judge David Tidd is on trial for misconduct.

David Tidd has many regrets about the years he spent as a district judge.

He admits he often cursed in his Hellertown office, that he was prone to outburst, that he handled some cases too quickly.

And he said Friday at his misconduct trial that he’s “thoroughly embarrassed” at the way he treated his staff.

He was so ashamed when made aware of the allegations that he came close to taking his own life and had to be hospitalized.

While he admits he could have handled himself more professionally, he said he always took his job seriously and always treated litigants fairly.

“There are many things I would do extremely differently,” Tidd testified.

Since resigning as a judge, he’s been in many different courtrooms as a practicing attorney and seen judges conduct themselves better than he did.

“And I completely understand in reviewing the others, doing it both ways, good and bad, the poor optics of the things I have done, not intentionally,” Tidd said.

Tidd said he often felt isolated as a judge and felt he couldn’t trust his staff. When the charges came against him, he was devastated.

“I lined up every single prescription pill bottle in front of me and a bottle of alcohol,” he said. Before he followed through, he wife came home.

“I stopped what I was doing. I called a doctor. I made arrangement to get me some help,” he said. After committing himself to the mental health unit of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg for two days, he resigned as a judge immediately when he got out in July 2016.

He said he didn’t acknowledge by resigning that he was guilty of misconduct. He resigned because “of an emotional inability to just take it anymore.”

“I don’t take shame very well. Or even the accusation of such,” Tidd testified.

Tidd testified Thursday and Friday before the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline. He was accused in 96 pages of allegations of running a “fast food” court due to his impatient and aloof handling of cases.

Tidd denied pressuring defendants to forgo a court hearing because he didn’t feel like holding one. He said he often advised defendants accused of drunken driving that they needed to waive their right to a preliminary hearing in order to apply for accelerated rehabilitative disposition, a program that allows first-time offenders to wipe criminal charges from their records.

Tidd admitted he uses profanity frequently and “colloquially.” By that, he meant he uses foul language in a self-deprecating way.

He said if he spilled water he might say, “What the f–k did I just do to myself?” Or, he might say of a defendant, “I can’t believe that son of b—h did that.”

He denied directing obscene language toward his staff, except when he used it in a “playful” way. He might say, for instance, “Why wouldn’t that b—h want a birthday cake?” to joke with a staff member.

Tidd was accused of sleeping on the floor of his office and using his robe as a pillow. His attorney, Samuel Stretton, said Tidd suffers from colitis and found that curling up on the hard, concrete floor was his best chance to get some relief. When Tidd felt better, he got up and presided over a case, Stretton said.

Tidd said he warned attorney James Burke about an impending parking ticket once and said his staff warned Burke twice. He was accused of giving Burke preferential treatment, warning him about multiple parking tickets. Tidd said he extended the courtesy to Burke he extended to other acquaintances. Tidd said he’s seen the same courtesy extended by other judges in other courts.

“We did that for other defendants we felt were deserving of a heads up,” Tidd said.

Some of the case against Tidd came from video and audio from a closed-circuit camera system he approved for his office. Tidd testified he had no idea he was being recorded and that the recordings could be used against him, although others who previously testified disagreed.

Tidd said he took the high-tech camera system because his office was deficient in many areas. It lacked security glass, a secure holding area for prisoners, an elevated bench, or parking bollards to prevent cars from driving into his window.

He couldn’t get those things, but he could get a camera system upgrade.

“I would have taken anything that was offered and I did,” Tidd said.

While he sometimes didn’t appear judicial, Tidd said he was always fair. District attorneys or public defenders weren’t always available, so he took it upon himself to advise defendants of their options, he said.

“I always had their best interest at heart,” he said. “While I might have done things quick, I was doing the right things quick.”

The trial will continue for one more to-be-set date.

Rudy Miller may be reached at rmiller@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @RudyMillerLV. Find Easton area news on Facebook.

Hellertown Easter egg hunt finds family fun (PHOTOS)

Hellertown Historical Society sponsored the annual tradition in Dimmick Park.

Hellertown area families found plenty of treats Saturday during the annual Easter egg hunt in t…

Dewey Fire Co. treasurer admits to charges in $395K theft

Agnes Patterson faces sentencing scheduled May 19.

The former treasurer of Dewey Fire Co. in Hellertown admitted Thursday to charges in the theft of $395,081 to fuel wh…

Hellertown lawyer announces bid for district judge

Alan R. Mege said he has practiced law for 20 years and will run in the May 16 primary election.

A Hellertown attorney is the latest candidate to enter the race for Hellerto…

Hellertown councilman accused of theft from local fire company

Last November, a former treasurer was charged with stealing $395,000 from Dewey Fire Co.

A former Hellertown borough councilman has been charged with stealing from a borough fire…