WILKES-BARRE — Leo A. Glodzik III is free on bail, and he’s not the target of a federal investigation, his lawyer said Thursday.
The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office says otherwise.
The issue arose as defense attorney Joseph Sklarosky Sr. and Luzerne County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce squared off at a bail hearing for Glodzik, who petitioned Judge Lesa Gelb to avoid incarceration while an appeal against his three- to 12-month prison sentence is pending.
Gelb sided with Sklarosky Thursday, permitting Glodzik to remain free in lieu of $25,000 straight bail over the objections of Sanguedolce. As it became obvious that the judge accepted Sklarosky’s argument, Sanguedolce unsuccessfully argued that the judge should set bail at $100,000.
While Gelb disagreed, she did rule that Glodzik would require the court’s permission to travel outside Luzerne County. Court documents filed later Thursday indicated a request for Glodzik to leave the county to visit his mother and children was “denied at this time.”
Sklarosky said his client’s mother lives in Clarks Summit.
Immediately after the proceeding, Sklarosky filed a notice that Glodzik intends to appeal his sentence to state Superior Court. Gelb ordered Glodzik to file a concise statement of the matters he intends to appeal within 21 days.
The Commonwealth will then have 28 days to respond.
Gelb last week sentenced Glodzik to spend three to 12 months in county prison as punishment for his May 15 conviction on a felony theft charge. Glodzik had been scheduled to report to prison by this morning.
Glodzik, 43, who worked as the city of Wilkes-Barre’s exclusive towing contractor for nearly a decade, was arrested on May 31, 2013, on allegations that he stole what he believed to be $2,100 in seized drug money and then tried to share part of the cash with a state trooper who was posing as a “dirty” officer.
Sklarosky has argued that Glodzik received a more harsh sentence than many county defendants who stole larger amounts of money and yet received probation or home confinement.
Sklarosky reiterated those arguments Thursday, pointing out that his client is a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania whose family lives in the area, and he owns three businesses.
“He is not a flight risk. He has no reason to flee,” Sklarosky said.
Sanguedolce countered that Glodzik’s business interests give him the resources to flee, adding that he has personal information Glodzik is the subject of a federal probe.
“He’s under federal investigation. He has sufficient reason to flee,” Sanguedolce said.
That led to a heated reply from Sklarosky.
“My client has not been notified by anyone in the federal system, nor has he received a target letter,” Sklarosky shot back.
“I confirmed it myself,” Sanguedolce countered.
FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski said the agency is unable to confirm or deny the existence of investigations.
Sanguedolce told a reporter afterward that he obtained his information from “federal agents in addition to Task Force Officer (Daniel) Mimnaugh,” referencing the now-retired state trooper who led the sting operation that led to Glodzik’s arrest.
Gelb steered the conversation back to the question of bail.
In his bail motion, Sklarosky wrote that Glodzik plans to appeal the sentence, and because his sentence is less than two years, “he has the same right to bail as before verdict” under Pennsylvania rules of criminal procedure.
Gelb agreed, but also said that a change in the bail terms was permissible, which is when Sanguedolce pushed for $100,000 bail.
That, Sklarosky said, “is unreasonable, your honor, for a $2,100 theft.”
The judge then sided with the defense.
After court, Glodzik declined comment other than to say he was relieved by the ruling.