SHAMOKIN — Charges were filed Wednesday against a correctional officer at Northumberland County Jail after she allegedly fled the prison as an investigation into possible drug violations was taking place Monday.
Holly N. Olvany, 48, of Spruce Road, Sunbury, was charged with misdemeanors of recklessly endangering another person, obstructing administration of the law and disorderly conduct, and summaries of reckless driving and careless driving. She has not been charged in relation to the drug investigation.
The charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III by Northumberland County Detective Degg Stark and Deputy Sheriff Todd Owens, a field supervisor with the Northumberland-Montour Drug Task Force.
Authorities reportedly went to Olvany’s home to take her into custody Wednesday afternoon, but she allegedly was not there. Her attorney, Michael Rudinski, of Williamsport, reportedly later informed authorities that Olvany would turn herself in today to be arraigned.
Olvany was one of seven former or current guards at the county prison in Sunbury charged on April 14, 2004, as a result of a two-year grand jury investigation into offenses allegedly committed between 2000 and 2002 at the prison.
She was acquitted at a trial in September 2005 of delivering marijuana to an inmate and returned to her job as a correctional officer in December 2005.
In a press release, Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said an arrest warrant has been issued for Olvany, who he said is not considered an imminent threat to the public.
Police had reported Monday that Watsontown Patrolman Tim Kiefaber, a certified drug K-9 officer, and his K-9 Mariska, uncovered an unidentified substance in a locker and indicated an “alert” outside a vehicle that morning.
Police said Wednesday the locker and vehicle belonged to Olvany.
According to a criminal complaint, the corrections officer apparently realized the focus of the police investigation, got into her vehicle and proceeded to leave the prison.
Deputy Warden Jim Smink attempted to stop the vehicle, but Olvany accelerated from the scene and was able to elude authorities.
The search at the prison began after Warden Bruce Kovach contacted the district attorney’s office with evidence suggesting inmates may be using illegal drugs in the jail, according to a news release.
The search of the interior of the prison began at 10:40 a.m. After uncovering no contraband in Olvany’s locker during her first hand search, Lt. Sarah Johnson discovered a latex glove containing a small bottle of an unknown clear liquid and a small plastic vial containing a dark crystallized substance in Olvany’s locker.
A short time after the search of her locker, Olvany, who was working, confronted Stark and told him the clear liquid was a urine sample that was to be delivered to her daughter’s doctor later in the day, the complaint states.
The complaint says Olvany also told the detective the small vial contained a crystallized urine sample that also was going to be delivered to the same physician’s office.
After telling Olvany he didn’t believe her, Stark said he walked away, allegedly causing Olvany to become agitated.
Sometime later, Stark said Olvany approached him again and told him she had the doctor’s office on the phone and encouraged him to speak with them.
Stark said it was at this point that Olvany began to complain that she needed to leave the jail.
After a few minutes on the phone, Stark said he became suspicious that he wasn’t talking to an employee at the physician’s office, so he terminated the call before calling the office back using a published phone number.
The detective said he spoke to a physician and explained the situation and the findings of the search. He said the doctor checked with all office staff and it was determined that Olvany had no appointment Monday or this week. The physician also denied hearing about a crystallized urine sample for any medical purpose.
After Olvany got into her car, Stark told Smink, who was standing in close proximity of the vehicle, to stop the vehicle for further investigation based on the K-9 alert.
From the initial vantage points of law enforcement officers, it appeared Olvany came dangerously close to striking Smink as she pulled out. But Kovach said video footage indicates Olvany probably lacked a clear intent to strike Smink with her car. However, authories said it is clear that Olvany placed people standing near her vehicle at risk of being seriously injured.
Stark said he has obtained written statements from Kovach, Smink, Johnson and Kiefaber.
Matulewicz said substances found at the jail will undergo analysis and identification at the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Laboratory.