LOCK HAVEN - A jury of three men and nine women was chosen Friday for next week's trial of Kimberly Coleman, charged with conspiracy and other crimes in a criminal case involving her son, former Clinton County commissioner Adam Coleman, and former Lock Haven YMCA director Jerry Clark.
Mrs. Coleman has been scheduled for a two-day trial to begin next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Adam Coleman, will be tried in July.
The Colemans, along with Clark, were charged following an investigation by the Attorney General's office focused on the alleged misappropriation of more than $133,000 from the YMCA.
Clark, 32, has already pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the county prison.
With three juries to choose Friday for upcoming civil and criminal trials - the other two were not related to this particular criminal investigation or prosecution - Judge J. Michael Williamson presided over the questioning of about 100 prospective panelists, which were eventually whittled down to 12 jury members and four alternates.
Kim Coleman is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine; and one count each of unsworn falsification to authorities and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, both second-degree misdemeanors that are each punishable by up to two years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
The Colemans are charged in connection with the misappropriation of funds from the YMCA and a special Elks Club grant for children. They were arrested along with former Clark - Adam Coleman and Clark for stealing the funds, and Mrs. Coleman for attempting to cover up her son's involvement in the crimes.
An early hearing focused on pre-trial motions on behalf of Kim Coleman, seeking to suppress evidence and limit questioning when it comes to witnesses who might allege wrongdoing for third parties who have never been charged with a crime.
Judge Williamson denied all the suppression motions and said the question of testimony will be considered if it comes up during the trial.
A proposed and rejected plea arrangement was also discussed. Judge Williamson expressed some concern about Mrs. Coleman's rejection of ARD, because it offered her no prison time and the complete removal of a criminal record upon completion of the first-offender program.
Williamson said "it makes no sense" in light of the "reasonable" nature of the conditions for the offer, that it would be rejected.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach, who is prosecuting both cases, said she placed no special conditions on that offer, other than that Mrs. Coleman testify truthfully if called to the stand at her son's trial.
Even that condition was limited, however, when Judge Williamson suggested that after acceptance into ARD, her testimony could violate her first-amendment rights.
Coleman's attorney, Jacob Gurwitz, however, told the court that he fully explained the situation to his client, who rejected the agreement because she feared the public perception of her culpability, as she moved forward in her life, and wanted a chance to clear her record at trial.
Attorney General representative Clarke H. Madden is also involved in the prosecution and and worked with Eshbach on the case and during jury selection.
Clark allegedly schemed to use his official position with the YMCA to misappropriate at least $133,000 in agency funds between 2006 and 2010, allegedly forging the names of YMCA board members on checks and trust fund documents, fabricating receipts and invoices to support those bogus checks and using agency credit cards and funds for a wide variety of personal expenses.
Adam Coleman is accused of conspiring with Clark in some of the thefts, including the fabrication of an invoice for $1,465 in landscaping work paid by the YMCA to Coleman's Landscaping, and emptying $5,300 from a special Elks grant account for an after-school program.
Kimberly Coleman is accused of conspiring with her son and Clark to fabricate an invoice for landscaping services that was allegedly used to divert $1,465 in YMCA funds to pay Adam Coleman's Country Club bill.
During jury selection, the attorneys and judge asked the prospective panelists to stand up if they knew any of the lawyers, witnesses, defendants or board members of the YMCA, of if they were affiliated with or worked for Coleman's landscaping or the YMCA.
The responses were negative, for the most part, but when a citizen said yes, he was asked to approach the bench and the matter was discussed confidentially among the attorneys, panelist and judge.
In all cases, the follow-up question was whether or not the juror could set aside his or her relationship or feelings about agencies, individuals or law enforcement, to render a fair and well considered verdict.
Panelists who answered in the affirmative were kept for consideration.
Both sides were granted six preemptive dismissals, meaning they could reject a panelist without the need to explain. Both sides provided the judge with a written list of these. Judge Williamson told the jurors the rejection for jury duty was no reflection on their ability to serve.
Adam Coleman is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. He is also charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy, both first-degree misdemeanors that are each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.