Custom Search

Sunday, August 15, 2010

[PA] Fire Chief John Yuknavich - You name it - he's done it or been accused of it

...Police cited [Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich] for a suspected hit-and-run crash, then a drunken domestic dispute with an estranged girlfriend and then a profanity-laced shouting match with police who were questioning him about driving around at 4 a.m. in a fire department vehicle with its emergency lights flashing when there were no emergencies... Charges withdrawn on Thursday included accidents involving damage to unattended property, public drunkenness, two counts of disorderly conduct, careless driving, failure to notify police about an accident. Those charges were withdrawn as part of a plea deal... The traffic cases were dismissed because Yuknavich’s insurance company covered financial costs to repair the hit-and-run victim’s vehicle... A harassment charge originally filed on April 11 was dismissed when the victim, Yuknavich’s then-girlfriend [D.P.], declined to testify... "I believe the defendant will work his problems out, so it will not be necessary"... Citations filed against Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Paul Yuknavich have reopened old wounds for the family of Scott Koonrad. Koonrad, 32, died at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre on May 21, 2006, nine days after he told family members Yuknavich assaulted him...

EXCERPTS FROM NEWS THIS YEAR:

W-B TWP. FIRE CHIEF YUKNAVICH CITED FOR HARASSMENT
The Citizens Voice
By Bob Kalinowski
April 13, 2010
[Excerpts] Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John P. Yuknavich is in trouble with the law again. Plains Township police have filed a citation against Yuknavich for allegedly grabbing a woman outside a Plains Township diner Sunday around 3:30 a.m. Police on Monday filed a non-traffic citation for harassment against Yuknavich with Magisterial District Judge Diana Malast. The citation adds to a lengthy list of controversies involving him over the past decade. Including the latest citation, Yuknavich has been cited by police for minor offenses 15 times since 2001, records show... Yuknavich faces a $447 fine if convicted. Last month, police filed six citations against Yuknavich, 46, following several run-ins with Plains Township police within a three-hour period. Investigators allege Yuknavich smashed his pick-up truck into an unattended vehicle outside a bar around 1 a.m. and fled. Police say he was later involved in a domestic dispute and then a public confrontation with police. Officers were questioning him why he was driving around at 4 a.m. in the Wilkes-Barre Township fire command vehicle with its emergency lights flashing when there were no emergencies in Plains Township, police said... Yuknavich was found not guilty after being charged in November 2009 in connection with a fight at Eddie's Diner. He was found not guilty six other times since 2001 after being cited... his mother, Mary Yuknavich, is council president... [Full article here]

FORMER GIRLFRIEND FILES PFA AGAINST W-B TWP. FIRE CHIEF
By Bob Kalinowski
May 1, 2010
[Excerpts] The former girlfriend of Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich has filed a protection from abuse order against him, claiming he repeatedly pesters her with calls, was kicked out of a night club for confronting her, shoved her to the ground outside a diner and blocked her vehicle at a stop sign. Luzerne County Judge Joseph Van Jura approved the restraining order against Yuknavich, 46, and ordered him not to have any contact with ex-girlfriend... The PFA adds to a lengthy list of controversies over the past decade involving Yuknavich, who also is a full-time public works employee in Wilkes-Barre Township. Prior to the PFA filed last week, police twice filed citations against Yuknavich since Feb. 28 for incidents involving [her]. In the early morning hours of Feb. 28, [she] called police to remove Yuknavich from her Plains Township home, saying he showed up at her residence intoxicated after a hit-and-run crash in a bar parking lot. On April 11, she told police he found and confronted her at the Woodlands Inn and Resort, then followed her to Eddie's Diner in Plains Township, where he pushed her to the ground. In all, Yuknavich has been cited by police for minor offenses 15 times since 2001, records show. Seven citations were later dropped or he was found not guilty. Six citations have not been resolved. Yuknavich was also the subject of a restraining order filed by his daughter in 2002 and is a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed in 2009 by a township resident... [She] claims he continuously shows up where she is and harasses her. He repeatedly calls her family members as well, she said. More recently, while she was driving home from work on April 22, he blocked her vehicle in at a stop sign, she said... [Full article here]

WOMAN DROPS PFA AGAINST W-B TWP. FIRE CHIEF
By Bob Kalinowski (Staff Writer)
Published: May 27, 2010
[Excerpts] Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich is no longer the subject of a restraining order. On Thursday, Yuknavich's estranged girlfriend withdrew a protection from abuse order that she filed against Yuknavich in April. "Please withdraw my PFA for reasons of health problems from the stress," wrote [D.P.], of Plains Township. "I believe the defendant will work his problems out, so it will not be necessary"... [Full article here]

YUKNAVICH PLEADS GUILTY TO DISORDERLY CONDUCT
The Citizens Voice
By Bob Kalinowski
August 5, 2010
[Excerpts] Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich has pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct in connection with his late-night escapade through Plains Township on Feb. 28 that prompted three separate run-ins with police... As part of his plea, police agreed to drop four other citations related to that night, one count each of leaving the scene of a vehicle accident, failure to immediately notify police of an accident, careless driving and public drunkenness. Yuknavich agreed to pay a fine of $620.50. The fire chief was also scheduled for a hearing Thursday for a harassment charge on accusations he pushed an ex-girlfriend, [D.P.], to the ground in a parking lot of a Plains Township diner around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 11. Magisterial District Judge Diana Malast, of Plains Township, dismissed the charge because [D.P.] refused to testify against Yuknavich... [Full article here]

CHIEF PLEADS GUILTY TO 2 CHARGES: Most charges in Feb. 28 incidents involving John Paul Yuknavich of Wilkes-Barre Township withdrawn.
The Times Leader
By Sherry Long
August 6, 2010
[Excerpts] ...[Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Paul] Yuknavich pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct for shouting at police, causing a public inconvenience, annoyances or alarm at roughly 3:50 a.m. Feb. 28. He was ordered to pay $620.50 in fines, but will not accumulate any points on his driving record, Yuknavich’s attorney, Barry Dyller, said. Six of the charges stemmed from a series of incidents on Feb. 28 when Plains Township police allege Yuknavich, 46, was involved in a hit-and-run crash when he struck an unattended vehicle in a parking lot near Harriet and North Main streets in Plains Township about 1 a.m. , according to traffic citations filed with Malast’s court. Police previously said Yuknavich was observed as being intoxicated during that winter night. Plains Township police officer Timothy Minnick said that on Feb. 28, he received reports identifying Yuknavich as the driver of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run. Once he located Yuknavich, Minnick said he confirmed by damage on both vehicles that Yuknavich was the driver. Minnick was called later that evening for a domestic dispute and found Yuknavich was unwelcome at a home... Minnick said he took Yuknavich home, but the chief returned to the area ... two more times that night... Charges withdrawn on Thursday included accidents involving damage to unattended property, public drunkenness, two counts of disorderly conduct, careless driving, failure to notify police about an accident. Those charges were withdrawn as part of a plea deal Dyller reached with Minnick. The traffic cases were dismissed because Yuknavich’s insurance company covered financial costs to repair the hit-and-run victim’s vehicle... A harassment charge originally filed on April 11 was dismissed when the victim, Yuknavich’s then-girlfriend [D.P.], declined to testify. [D.P.] had a temporary protection-from-abuse order against Yuknavich issued in late April, that was withdrawn in late May... [Full article here]

W-B TWP. FIRE CHIEF PLEADS GUILTY
The Citizens Voice
By Bob Kalinowski
Published: August 6, 2010
[Excerpts] Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of disorderly conduct in connection with his late-night escapade through Plains Township on Feb. 28 that prompted three separate run-ins with police. Police cited him for a suspected hit-and-run crash, then a drunken domestic dispute with an estranged girlfriend and then a profanity-laced shouting match with police who were questioning him why he was driving at 4 a.m. in a fire department vehicle with its emergency lights flashing when there were no emergencies... He had maintained he wasn't driving his truck that night, and police blew the other incidents out of proportion... Three state agencies have criticized the financial practices of the department under Yuknavich's stewardship and the Pennsylvania Department of State recently fined the fire company $2,000 for poor financial record-keeping... [Full article here]

Things that make you go "Hmm":

FIRE CHIEF HURT MAN, FAMILY SAYS: OFFICIALS DISPUTE ASSAULT CLAIM AGAINST JOHN P. YUKNAVICH OF WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP.
The Times Leader, AllBusiness.com
By Edward Lewis
Saturday, March 6 2010
[Excerpts] Citations filed against Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Paul Yuknavich have reopened old wounds for the family of Scott Koonrad. Koonrad, 32, died at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre on May 21, 2006, nine days after he told family members Yuknavich assaulted him during a search and rescue operation in a densely wooded area near Giants Despair in Laurel Run... State police Trooper Martin Connors said an investigation into the assault allegations determined Koonrad died of natural causes... Yuknavich, 46, of Wilkes-Barre Township, was cited by Plains Township police on Wednesday on accusations he sped away after colliding into a parked vehicle in a parking lot near Harriet and North Main streets on Feb. 28... [Full article here]
[firefighter involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety lethal pennsylvania repeat hx murder suspicion teflon]

4 comments:

  1. State police investigate abuse allegations against firefighter
    Citizens' Voice
    James Conmy
    Jun 11, 2006
    [Excerpts] A night of drinking and off-road joy riding turned ugly last month when an Ashley man and his female friend became trapped on a rocky ledge off Giant's Despair in Laurel Run. What exactly happened in the middle of the woods on May 12 that left 32-year-old Scott Koonrad with a bloody face and hands and a ripped sweater remains a mystery Pennsylvania State Police have been asked to solve. Tanya Wildes, the 21-year-old companion, claims Koonrad was beaten and bloodied by a volunteer fire chief furious he had to respond to the Friday night emergency call. John Yuknavich, the volunteer Wilkes-Barre Township fire chief accused of the assault, said a heavily intoxicated Koonrad cut his head in a fall before rescuers found Koonrad, Wildes and her dog, Whiskey. Koonrad died eight days after the incident of natural causes at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, the Luzerne County coroner's office ruled. His sister Esther Burcicki said before his death, Koonrad told his family he was assaulted by Yuknavich. Family members spoke with Wildes, and Burcicki filed a report with state police after Koonrad died. "I just want it to be investigated and I want to know if it did occur," Burcicki said. "If it did, I want justice. This guy should not be allowed on the fire department if this happened"... State police retrieved a recorded copy of Wildes' conversation with a Luzerne County 911 dispatcher the night she and Koonrad were stranded. The ongoing investigation precluded the county from granting The Sunday Voice's request for the tape, said county solicitor Jim Blaum... "I heard Scott say, 'What did I do?'" Wildes said. "As I turned around, I saw the guy punch him in the face"... Yuknavich maintains injuries Koonrad suffered were self-inflicted or were scratches caused by the shrubbery the two had to walk through to get to the other rescue personnel. "We're not the ones who were drunk. We were going back there to help people," the chief said... Both Wildes and Yuknavich said Koonrad was treated at the scene by paramedics. It could not be determined who those paramedics were...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Assault allegations against fire chief probed: Family of Scott Koonrad say he was beaten by W-B Township's John Yuknavich.
    Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
    Kevin Amerman
    Jun 15, 2006
    [Excerpts] State police are investigating accusations that a local volunteer fire chief roughed up and bloodied an Ashley man known for risky behavior after the man requested help getting down from a mountainous hillside. Scott Koonrad told family members that John Yuknavich, 42, chief of the Wilkes-Barre Township volunteer fire company, punched him in the face and dragged him through the woods at about 10:30 p.m. on May 12. Stuck with Koonrad had been his friend, Tanya Wildes, who called 911 for help... "His job was to rescue him, not to do what he did," Burcicki said. The chief did not return several phone calls nor did his mother, Mary Yuknavich, the president of Wilkes-Barre Township Council. The fire chief's father, Frank Yuknavich, called the allegations false. "I think it's been blown out of proportion," he said. "I wasn't there, so I really don't know, but I think it's just a hoax"... Burcicki also said it's strange that an autopsy on her brother was not done, despite the fact that he died so young. But Luzerne County Coroner Dr. John Consalvo said autopsies are only performed when there is a suspicious death or a lack of an obvious cause... In November 2001, Yuknavich was charged with harassment, making unreasonable noise and using obscene language after his then 18- year-old daughter, Stacey Yuknavich, alleged her father entered her room, began yelling and accused her of taking drugs. The charges were eventually dropped, but Yuknavich's ex-wife Virginia and his daughter both obtained protection from abuse orders against Yuknavich. Stacy wrote that during the tirade, her father picked her up by the wrist and told her she was going for a drug test. In her petition, Virginia wrote that Stacy "went hard into a stucco wall with sharp texture with her head and shoulder. She went to the ground. I put my body over her and pleaded for him to stop." Virginia also stated Yuknavich "has a drinking problem and is extremely verbally and sometimes physically abusive." On Feb. 14, 2002, Yuknavich pleaded guilty in Luzerne County Court to violating the PFA order obtained by his daughter. He was ordered to "attend and follow any counseling for drug and alcohol treatment." According to the complaint, he violated the order on Feb. 4, 2002, when he blocked a vehicle his daughter was in with a township fire truck and tried to punch out the windows of the car, which was owned by his daughter's boyfriend. In 1998, Yuknavich and another firefighter were found guilty of harassing each other. A district judge found that Yuknavich pushed Walter Halecki to the ground after Halecki cursed and yelled at Yuknavich. Yuknavich was suspended from the road crew because he was already on probation by the township for another fight with co- workers...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr. Yuknavich has done federal time for stealing $45,000.00 from the fire dept. He is currently on house arrest and no longer allowed to be a member of the fire dept. He is currently harassing members of the fire dept.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As I approved that comment I realized his other post is not listed here:

    [PA] Fire Chief Yuknavich CAN commit domestic violence and other crimes off-duty
    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2011/11/pa-fire-chief-yuknavich-can-commit.html

    ReplyDelete

Please post updates or email them to behindthebluewall@gmail.com. No cop-hating or victim-hating comments allowed. Word verification had to be added due to spam attacks on this blog.