This might be good news for all involved, as well the lawyers handling related cases. Countless residents’ in York County are still receiving notices of their license suspension for related drug crimes committed as far back as ten years ago. Don O’Shell of York County Clerk of Courts has publicly announced taking the blame for the mistake committed by his office even if he was not aware that there are still some drug’s offenses meriting a license suspension and that PennDOT was not properly notified.
Pa. House Majority Whip Rep Stan Saylor said that many more people are to be blamed but none in particular for the responsibility of communicating changes in the laws.
Rep. Saylor stated they realized that there are problems in almost every county in Pennsylvania, where clerk of courts did not report drug offenses so he recently sponsored a bill allowing those affected by this mistake to secure an occupational license, so they will be allowed to drive to work.
He said that he does not want to see people losing their jobs and destroying the economic security of families due to the issue. It is the job of politicians acting as legislative agencies to alleviate the problem.
The bill filed would assist any future oversight within the court system. Expecting the support from the House and Senate, Rep. Saylor hopes the bill to reach the desk of the governor within the next two days so those who have completed their sentences can apply for their occupational licenses as soon as possible.
The error was discovered following the case of a driver who hit and killed a pedestrian in Philadelphia last spring. The driver did not have any suspended license for a drug offense. The incident started action within Philly’s Clerk of Courts after it was discovered that these offenses were not being reported.
According to O’Shell, since the office had failed to send cases to the state Transportation Department, he forwarded the old cases to PennDOT. This action resulted in the suspension of 5,000 licenses issued to York County drivers upwards of 10 years after their convictions.
The amendment introduced by D- York & State Rep. Kevin Schreiber was an amendment to the bill that considered specifics of the occupational license. This amendment allows any individual affected by this administrative error to secure an Occupational Limited License. Schreiber believed that most drivers are not at fault for no information was submitted in a timely manner. A suspension of license will jeopardize their livelihood since they have paid their debt to society and have moved on with life and employment.
Representative Seth Grove (R) 196th District is co-sponsoring the bill and he stated that they are trying to make correction and to assume the in-between role of insuring people that their licenses are back so they can still go to work and be a productive member of society, as well as provide a roof over their heads and feed their children.