Bail Bondsman strikes deal to settle dispute over bail forfeiture

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Bail Bondsmen News
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A deal struck Tuesday in Dauphin County court will save the embattled license of a midstate bail bondsman.

The short version is that bondsman James Fabie will pay $3,500 to settle a dispute over a $25,000 bail forfeiture for a client who went on the lam.

It helped that Fabie was able to track down the alleged bail jumper, a drug case defendant named Rudolf Zigray, and arrange for his delivery to the doorstep of the courthouse.

Fabie’s bondsman license was placed at risk when he initially refused to pay up on the bail bond after Zigray didn’t show for a court hearing.

But the circumstances of the case were a bit odd.

Zigray was arrested by state police in connection with a drug probe in Penbrook last year. He was charged with receiving FedEx shipments from Colorado that contained around 5 pounds of marijuana.

When Zigray didn’t show for his preliminary hearing, a bail forfeiture action was filed. Fabie didn’t pay, so the district attorney’s office in May issued a rare petition seeking to pull his bondsman’s license.

As the dispute heated up, defense attorney Karl Rominger cited a quirk in the case. He noted that even though Zigray didn’t appear for his preliminary hearing, District Judge James A. Lenker dismissed the drug counts, citing lack of jurisdiction.

The charges were later reinstated by county President Judge Todd A. Hoover, who ordered a bail forfeiture.

A court hearing on rescinding Fabie’s license was postponed in August after Rominger questioned whether Lenker’s action invalidated Fabie’s original bail obligation for Zigray.

The agreement that was struck to resolve licensing action against Fabie was aired before Hoover on Tuesday.

It hinged in large part on Fabie’s successful efforts to track down Zigray and turn him over to the authorities, First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo said.

Still, Chardo said the case did cause the county to “expend some resources,” so Fabie must pay the $3,500 before the license revocation action is dropped.

Rominger said Fabie took the deal because it makes financial sense.

“Even if we prevailed [in a court battle] we would have spent more in legal fees,” he said. “This is a graceful way for both sides to exit.”


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