CLEARFIELD – After an impassioned plea before Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry, a motion for injunction to compel the immediate cease and desist of the sale of hate crimes material at the Clearfield County Fair was denied.
Steve Jarrett, a local attorney, filed the motion on Tuesday before chaining himself to the courthouse in protest of the county’s alleged collection of revenue through the sales of hate-related merchandise at the fair. Jarrett named the Clearfield County Commissioners and Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. as defendants in the motion.
Judge Cherry heard arguments from both Jarrett and Clearfield County Solicitor Kim Kesner.
Kesner argued preliminary objections to dismiss the case. Kesner noted that the Clearfield County Fair is not controlled by the county, but by the Clearfield County Fair and Park Board. Ultimately, the land the fair is held on is owned by Clearfield Borough, and run by the fair board.
“Wouldn’t the proper parties be the borough or fire department?” Judge Cherry asked Jarrett. Neither party was named in the complaint, and it seemed as though Jarrett was unaware of their role with the Clearfield County Fair.
Kesner also argued that the court cannot compel the district attorney to investigate a situation, an issue with which the judge agreed.
“In my nine years plus as district attorney for this county, not once did any judge advise me to prosecute a case,” said Judge Cherry, who held the position of Clearfield County district attorney before taking the bench.
Jarrett said that while a judge could not compel a district attorney to investigate, he could ask. Judge Cherry stated that would make cause a conflict of interest within the court.
Jarrett presented to the court items he said he purchased at the fair; Schutzstaffel (one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany) pins, Nazi pins, Nazi flags and more buttons and pins. During the hearing Jarrett even wore some of them on his lapels.
Jarrett argued that the county was responsible for what happens at the fair because of their signed endorsement on a tourism promotion book that contains an advertisement of the fair.
Upon announcing his decision, Judge Cherry said that he must uphold the law. He granted Kesner’s motion, and denied Jarrett’s.
Jarrett did not agree with the Court’s decision, and continued to hold the county accountable.
Jarrett told the media he plans to contact the offices of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann and Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
“I’m going to keep knocking on doors,” said Jarrett.
He was treated for exhaustion and dehydration Tuesday night at Clearfield Hospital. The intravenous lock from that visit was still in Jarrett’s arm Wednesday afternoon, and he said he planned to return to the hospital Wednesday to receive more treatment.
Jarrett did verify an earlier report that he had been removed from the fairgrounds. Jarrett said that while at the fair, he attempted to purchase a vendor’s entire stock of merchandise. He claimed the vendor backed out, and he was escorted out by security and banned from the Clearfield County Fair.
Clearfield County Commissioner Chairman Mark McCracken agreed with Jarrett that we should all be offended by those items. However, McCracken said that it is a matter of freedoms presented through our constitution which allow vendors to sell those items and buyers to purchase them. McCracken said the best way to fight the sale of hate-related goods is for buyers to stop purchasing them.
Before leaving the courthouse, Jarrett threw his Nazi memorabilia in front of the courthouse and said the pieces, which included two flags and some pins, now belonged to the Clearfield County Commissioners.