Adams Presser

Heather Adams, then Lancaster County district attorney-elect, holds a press conference Dec. 20, 2019, with other county officials. Adams, who was sworn into office Jan. 6, has filed the paperwork to discontinue her predecessor's lawsuit against the county commissioners. Commissioner Josh Parsons is seen third from right.

At a Lancaster County government press conference Friday afternoon, what was said was less significant than who was saying it in unison.

Although not expressly stated, the press conference appeared to be more focused on signaling that nearly a year of highly public disputes between the district attorney's office and county commissioners is over.

District Attorney-Elect Heather Adams and the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners, along with other criminal justice officials, gathered at the county government building to discuss Drug Task Force funding and Adams’ participation in mental health and substance abuse initiatives - issues that had previously been announced or mentioned in other venues.

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"District Attorney-Elect Heather Adams’ presence here today, along with everyone else, shows a willingness to work together with the rest of the county government," Josh Parsons, chairman of the board of commissioners, said.

Throughout 2019 the district attorney's office and commissioners issued battling press releases on District Attorney Craig Stedman's use of drug forfeiture funds, as well as Stedman's alleged use of politics in personnel decisions.

Stedman went on to file a lawsuit against the commissioners in Commonwealth Court for what he said were violations of state law and the Pennsylvania Constitution. The suit is pending in county court though Adams has said she will not pursue it.

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Stedman and the commissioners also squared off in person during a highly contentious meeting in October over the future of the county's Drug Task Force.

But with Friday's press conference, the new guard on each side conveyed that those disputes would be left in 2019. In addition to Parsons and Adams, Commissioner-elect Ray D'Agostino, a Republican, was present with fellow GOP commissioner Dennis Stuckey, whose term ends this year. Democratic Commissioner Craig Lehman also attended.

"I'm looking forward to taking office in the New Year and to working in a collaborative manner to effectively address the various issues facing our criminal justice system," Adams said. "I think together we can make great progress."

Video of the press conference is available through LNP media partner

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