The Philadelphia district attorney’s office has agreed to accept former Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski into a program that likely would allow him to clear recent theft charges from his record.
Koplinski appeared in Philadelphia Municipal Court Monday, only to have his preliminary hearing continued for a second time.
However, court records show the DA’s office has accepted Koplinski into the state’s Advanced Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which often gives first-time offenders a chance to avoid criminal records, jail time and big fines.
Koplinski is accused of using a stolen press pass to enter a media center set up at the Democratic National Convention Center in Philadelphia in late July.
He likely will learn the terms and conditions of his acceptance into the ARD program when he is due to appear in court again on Oct. 12, said his attorney, Brian McQuillan.
Because it is an ongoing case, a spokesman for the DA’s office refused comment for this story.
Koplinski, 47, allegedly stole the pass at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where the staunch Democrat surprisingly was spotted selling Donald Trump paraphernalia. The attorney/political strategist said he was hawking the merchandise in exchange for a pass to get into the convention.
At the DNC, he used the stolen press credential to take parking passes and food vouchers early on July 25, just before the convention kicked off, the DA’s office claims. The DA’s office previously said it has surveillance footage that caught Koplinski in the act. The office refused to provide a copy of the footage to PennLive.
McQuillan formally asked the DA’s office to consider accepting Koplinski into the ARD program during an Aug. 8 hearing.
Koplinski, a council member for 8 years who lost a run for lieutenant governor in 2014, also was charged with driving under a suspended license in April and pleaded guilty to failing to report earned income taxes in 2009.