LOCK HAVEN - The investigation into the death of a local young man from an apparent overdose of prescription drugs has been turned over to the state Attorney General's office.
Bobby Wise, 18, a senior at Central Mountain High School, died May 25, just days before he was to graduate.
Clinton County District Attorney Michael Salisbury confirmed Wednesday that the state Attorney General's Office is conducting the investigation due to a conflict of interest.
"Having reviewed the initial reports and engaging in conversation with officers of the Lock Haven Police Department, I believe there is, at minimum, an apparent conflict of interest on the part of the office of the Clinton County District Attorney as it applies to the investigation and prosecution of this particular matter," Salisbury said.
"I am not at liberty to outline those specific areas of apparent conflict," he added. "However, I believe it is important and mandatory for the victim's family and for the defendant to have an impartial prosecutor."
Salisbury said case law has made it clear that, when a potential conflict has been identified, an entirely different agency must become involved.
He said another person in his office could not be designated as a temporary assistant. Instead, he said, all decision-making duties of the conflicted district attorney must cease and the matter must be referred to the state Attorney General's Office.
"In this case, the matter has been referred to the Attorney General's Office and has been accepted ... for prosecution," Salisbury concluded, declining to elaborate.
Robert "Bobby" Wise III, of Woolrich, was taken to Hershey Medical Center in critical condition after police were called to the 400 block of Bellefonte Avenue for a report of an unresponsive male. He died there several days later.
Police have released no information on their investigation.