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WILK News Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>Luzerne County Asssitant DA Mike Melnick and Corbett

Luzerne County Asssitant DA Mike Melnick and Corbett

Aug 18, 2014|

Luzerne County Asssitant DA Mike Melnick talks to Corbett about Melnick's visiting a woman while she was an inmate in Luzerne County.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- attorney Mike knowledge however just called the show and is on line true. Attorney Mike moment thanks for call on the show. Or you -- a problem. First of all a couple of things. Highways. When I visited. Terry -- dish timer. We. Discussed. Nothing but legal matters should. Period. She had a and then car accident case was another returning. Pomp and she wanted a second opinion on that. So we went over that. Call. So that same -- Polish her landlord. And so. She was coming up for a renewal of her least. And that created a conflict of interest issue. Regarding. That boy you're straddling the car accident cases and also being her landlord. That was. One of these legal issues we talked about. Solves. The surge thing was. That we talked about and I -- I'm just saying this because I have eight limited waiver. From her in terms of the disclosure of the advice that I gave her and I hit I had a worse time that an important and what the rules of professional responsibility. So you're are you saying now that you spoke to Terry. During that visit to you and I discuss it as her lawyer. No I gave for legal advice. Gershon bearish a difference between visiting any person. As -- lawyer and taken on a case or fishing in person and giving them legal advice. So you visited her as a -- lawyer. As a lawyer giving her legal advice and then she had a protection from abuse issue. That. I may I told her I gave -- Furl for. Do you remember telling me that during that visit that you you were not visiting her as a client. That. You were not represented her that in your words you hadn't even read her final -- remember that. See when you say iron to -- her final. I can differ legal advice. Concerning her matters. But I cannot represent her on some permissions on her car accident case. I cannot represent her on her. Abortion matters but I can render her legal advice. Look at but beware your words to me I'm just repeating to the best of my recollection. What you said to me you said to me that you hadn't even read her file was that is that would you remember saying. Well I did not read her divorce final. Period. When you hadn't said to me what's file you just said her file. As as far as the visit itself. Do you consider that. Contact visit as you described it to have bin. A personal visit however because you are in a relationship with her. You were then I believe in a relationship with her but I don't know were you at that time. All we were the relationship but I'll be honest with you see is the only thing we talked about order legal problems. Period. That's all we talked about. When we went in America. So so then. The information I have that you show you're attorneys identification. To get the visit then that's accurate. Yes and we went over her car accident case we won over her landlord tenant issues. We won over her conflict of interest issue what slowed to a lawyer who's handling the car accident and -- landlord tenant. We won overheard the status of her. Divorce situation. With terror tactics. Are per child custody rights and we also won over. PSA. Concern. A previous relationship to. Okay so are you saying now that you consider that visit to have been unofficial. Visit between. Do you as an attorney and her as a person who needed the legal advice from. She needed legal advice and I gave it to work. OK so do you believe that was inappropriate. Business. Visit trio. It wireless it's because I rendered legal advice tour and I eight. I gave her direction where she should get no I could not handle these matters. You know I cannot handle her car accident I couldn't handle her domestic matters. What I can steer her in the right direction. All the tension I gave for the legal advice. Would. Where she should go. Okay songs so do you believe that that was an appropriate official visit for you as a lawyer. OK even -- are you worried a relationship which are even though she now works for you even though well you referred urge your soul mate. I I I don't know where that came out calm did that seems to be harder literary relations of the times sweeter but why. So many. No you told me that so do you use that word you remember using that word -- our discussion. I do not -- caller actually but -- OK so the visit that we're discussing now. The official visit do you recall the date was it was it June 19 perhaps. I would -- to. Open look at my calendar. Okay how many other visits did you have with -- What we had to do execute. Legal authorizations. On one. All. Can order to. You know fulfill. Oh what she wanted. To do in terms to protect you really -- Chris Paterson on tomorrow authorization. Official is that is that an additional official visit there you have an official contact visit you I'm with -- -- second one. No problem. Every visit we talked about her legal matters seem to solve all on one album we executed eight legal authorization. I don't know how. Clear I can be at all. I understand I'm sure you were there are okay how many visits to -- there. During this two week period you told me she was incarcerated for do you -- I had several visits. And one of the things. Her. -- your wish pressuring her to settle her personal injury case. And I -- sure -- she needed to whole -- On man until. She you know got released and then. Period. Okay so was the one -- visits may be more. I visited -- several times do you have the number was straight. I would have to look at my calendar. -- my understanding is there were three visits there were document and you say that these are all official business warrior. Client. Visits I mean you're giving advice but she's not your client how does that work. I gave the example I work at saint Teresa's church. Com we give free legal advice -- people command. And you give them only qualify ace. They don't you cannot take on their case. He give them direction what they're legal problems whether to shape the landlord tenant problem. The ministry of bankruptcy problem Jim might be. You know our credit our pom. -- So you get them legal advice. They're not a client he can't take on their case. Exchange two races but. That is protected by -- attorney client privilege. OK and you're allowed to talk with us about this today because. You told her that you wanted to do that and you were able to obtain a waiver. No way -- I actually. Com next. You know all looked up to roll and then night double checked -- Bob Davis. And ethics expert out of -- spurred on. The status of what I can or cannot don't fall which hand. We executed 82 limited waiver and so. The information out that I am sharing where if you com. It has been authorized. Him. By her to be released. -- do you think this is odd that because you're in a relationship with her because you weren't a personal relationship with dark during that time she was imprisoned. That you were able to utilize these so called contact visits. They usually are for client lawyers you were you were visiting her. -- you CDC were. Are you worried going that. She had civil matters that. Had to be addressed she wanted to second opinion. On on the -- actually case and her. Border wish crashing her forward. That's. Tires there was it was a more business then personal or more personal and. This mission. I mean. Honestly it was all business well -- the rear. The same lawyer then our confront it sure would say one year lease. Com and I had my I assure that -- you know again when there's a conflict of interest rates. From the air and that issue has since been resolved with that warrior. Com. As a lawyer had a financial relationship with the order was channeling Karl action orders also little lamb worked reverse all that issues. OK so so all the visits that you say several visits. I'm sure in three men who who was impossible there were more than three. This to my recollection I think -- trade. So all three of those business are all three of those visits. You talked. Business legal all business with our. So it was OK so. Does that create any kind of of a conflict. That. From what I've been told you to tell me if this is accurate or not dead during that time we were having these business only visits with our. You were listed on prison records as her emergency. Personal contact is that true. I know how old I don't know what she wrote down. I don't know that. There's -- possible that she -- US her personal emergency contract. Personally I don't know that. OK you don't know that. Did did you when you've finished the visit. The other thing that was. All know she had. -- assaulted. And it's the can you buy an ex boyfriend and you know there were shady timeframe within which she could follow PSA. On and you know I wish advising her again I could not represent -- on it but. No longer you wait on something like that. Com. The less likely you are to get a PSA. Arm but there were sent an incident had occurred. Even though all three of these visits might or worse strictly business. Do you remember at the end of any of those visits. Putting. Cash into her prison account. For her to use. Yeah I lay down. With respect to that eight. -- -- Doesn't ring a bell and all would you putting money into her prison account for her use when you left at least one -- the visits. I believe so don't you remember how much. -- I think it was a hundred dollar issue for her phone calls. And was down on one occasion that you contributed cash to her as an -- Now. More than wants. That was OK that was that. As far as the charge when you when I initially talked -- said she was incarcerated for two weeks or do you lying now the times leader is making reference to a retail theft charge. What what was she doing. A sentence for mark. I don't know I didn't special criminal matters Twitter. You told me that she was -- -- do you lie and that Chet and she hired Tom Marshall Leo for that it's okay. Does she have any other criminal record your world. Did that can't just -- Marshall Leo about. Do you know if she has any other criminal record. I do. Yeah and will you tell us it's all quite -- I don't think I don't wanna get into right now -- You told me the last time we spoke that. If you were not at liberty to talk publicly about details and I thank you for answering my questions are today. But you're speaking as publicly as you possibly could. Are you are you violating the order that your supervisors have -- laid out on your do you have they're all our mission to. Talking. Strictly about. Per civil matters. Period. Because you are an assistant district attorney and because. There's concern. In the DA's office that some impropriety might have taken place here. You didn't ask them for permission to tell him make the call today than I take it. -- made -- believe my ethics expert. Bomb. But the what the proper course of action was. And his advice was under the roles is that. Our -- as an independent right to defend himself. When you know he is. Charged with these allegations and -- and the public -- home. Period. Kids see independent right to defend themselves. -- So. Com. -- civil practices separate and apart from what I do wish that DA. But today the day that she was released from prison and correct me if I'm wrong the data you when I talk to you were laying in the grass waiting for her to be released. The district attorney in at least one county detective from one on the being told pull up on a car and you had words with her and you were there were ordered. From what I understand to leave the premises does that bring about. I was sitting. I was sitting. In the grass. Waiting for her to be released. I made sure I was sitting there. Did did did Boozer county district attorney Stephanie Soledad this approach you talk with you about this. What she says. Well. She just wanted to know what the status of this one mission and I advise mr. Tell. I told her what has. Told you comment on the radio here. I'm what does she say in response. She didn't really had much stay at that point in time she angry. I don't know I would I don't know she was sent out -- I don't know it's I mean how does she know you. He adapt Castro. Did you leave. Or did you stick around and wait or no I mean. Pursuant to war her. It's twice a day. Are they waited in a different area for her to be released. Saw you last. Area in the front the prison were you and note crash you went to another area. Well I just won over a -- street and Sam -- who want. And until your friend was released. And then did you greet her and you both laughed together. Com I greeted her and we left. Okay. Do you think of these issues sir -- fair Mike do you think it's appropriate for four Oscar have a public discussion. About these issues I know that a personal relationship is yours as well. Well I think. I think it's it's. It's fair. I think it's. Fair news topic. And I asked to you know be on the -- in an expression. What I can do all chip in terms of our discussions. Com. She had. Com. A series of legal issues. That had to be resolved. Do you think you did anything wrong mark. I did not. Has anyone from the district attorney's office talked with you yet as far as an internal personnel inquiry. Adam. Stephanie so the interest. Is indicated. There's. You know it's under review and that's all I can say about it. Do you have an attorney representing you in this matter Michael I do not. Will you will you obtain the services -- -- -- actually not. So you intend to defend yourself in this regard. And. I wouldn't say defend myself for six I'm gonna tell the true. That says. Well I appreciate you talking with me I appreciate your your willingness to be as forthcoming -- -- and I thank you for calling the show marked my alarm. And just. You know. Just for the record I mean I I didn't get a limited waiver. Under one point six of the rules of professional responsibility. To discuss these matters. For the record. Would that be considered a public document that no no. And I I I had ever execute that. If -- can even respond you can discussion Percival matters. Okay all right Mike -- again thanks very much for your candor yeah.