Suspended Factoryville veterinarian Michele Zajac could face as much as 14 years in jail after pleading guilty Friday morning to a pair of felony charges that she electronically intercepted conversations without the permission of persons speaking.
Zajac appeared before President Judge Russell Shurtleff and accepted a plea arrangement that had been reduced from 10 counts which her attorney Robert Munley worked out with District Attorney Jeff Mitchell.
According to court records, last February an employee of the Bunker Hill Veterinarian Hospital, where Zajac worked, said she discovered a camera in one of the hospital’s treatment rooms and believed she was being taped.
The complaint notes that a number of current and former employees of the veterinary hospital later told a professional conduct investigator from the Pennsylvania Department of State that they also believed they were being recorded while they were at work.
According to the complaint, iPhones belonging to Zajac and her husband were seized, along with two Wyze cameras that had been in the veterinary hospital.
The complaint noted that Zajac’s phone had 275 listed audio recordings, but the nature of all of them were not clear.
However, state police said that the recordings were “surrepticious in nature and made without the knowledge of the persons who were speaking.”
She will be sentenced at a later date.
Attorney Munley said Friday’s action had nothing to do with Zajac’s temporary suspension as a veterinarian with the Pennsylvania Department of State, which is to expire Nov. 30, according to the licensing website.
Other pleas entered Friday in the Wyoming County Court of Common pleas:
*Randall Paul Austin, 41, of Susquehanna, pleaded guilty to resisting arrest on May 19.
*John William Barber, 53, of Nicholson, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on June 1, 2017; and to cruelty to animals on Jan. 1.
*Wayne Matthew Brace, 32, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to simple assault on Sept. 2, 2017.
*Christopher Allen Buckas, 48, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to receives advance payment for services and fails to perform on May 3, 2017.
*Coty James Dippel, 24, of Dalton, pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, 2nd offense, on Feb. 26; and to possession of drug paraphernalia on Feb. 26.
*Brandon Wayne Derricott, 28, of Uniondale, pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, second offense, on April 9.
*Edwin Sumner Gormley Jr., 39, of Springville, pleaded guilty to sale or illegal use of certain solvents on Apr. 9; pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, second offense, on May 15; pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, third offense, on May 25; and pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, fourth offense on May 26.
*Tonya Louise Harrison, 42, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance, second offense, on Apr. 11.
*Sameal J. Hill, 27, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to simple assaulty on Aug. 9.
*Lisa Anne Mattocks, 47, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person on Aug. 1, 2017.
*Jessica Marie Meritt, 30, of Harford, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia on June 18, 2017.
*Derek Jeffery Millard, 20, of Laceyville, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia on July 5, 2018.
*Brian Michael Peterson, of Nicholson, pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit simple assault on March 10.
*David Carl Stine, 57, of Hop Bottom, pleaded guilty to DUI of a controlled substance on April 27.
*Daniel Phillip Washburn, 37, of Laceyville, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on Aug. 11.
*James Robert Weaver, 24, of Laceyville, pleaded guilty to terroristic threats on July 9.
*George Emerson Zacharias Jr., 35, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on Jan. 30; and to theft by unlawful taking on Jan. 29.
*Robert Edward Zagata, 29, of Factoryville, pleaded guilty to defiant trespass on April 18.