Supervisor who served time files for Franklin Co. race

March 07, 2007|by DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Southampton Township Supervisor Samuel F. Cressler, who served a county jail sentence for a vehicular homicide conviction nine years ago, announced Tuesday that he is running for Franklin County Commissioners in the May 15 Republican primary.

Cressler, a supervisor for 10 years, said Tuesday he served a six- to 23-month sentence for the fatal accident that occurred in February 1998.

"I have a unique perspective on a lot of things," Cressler said. "When it comes to auto accidents, I have saved people," and one time had a woman die in his arms, he said.

Cressler pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Court in October 1998 to homicide by vehicle and related charges.

The charges stemmed from a crash in which passenger Michael Brenize was killed and another passenger injured, court records stated. Cressler said he also was badly injured in the single-vehicle accident.


A Cumberland County judge sentenced Cressler to serve his sentence in Franklin County, according to court records.

Cressler, 46, is president of the Franklin County Association of Township Supervisors and vice chairman of the Franklin County Council of Governments, according to his announcement. He also served on a county committee examining inmate recidivism that focused on putting inmates to work, his announcement stated.

"As my record shows, I've always been active in my community and local government," Cressler said. "I'm very approachable ... I like to build cooperation among neighbors."

A firefighter for 20 years and an emergency medical technician for 12 years, Cressler represents the township on the Franklin County Emergency Services Alliance, his announcement stated. Supporting emergency services in the county is one of his goals, he said.

"Efficiency is always a priority, we want to provide the best services we can in the most efficient way," Cressler said of county government. The issue of managing growth also is a priority, he said.

"It's not government's place to control growth, but to direct it," Cressler said. Growth is important to the economy, but local governments have a role in where it takes place, he said.

Cressler is self-employed, having worked in his family's grocery store business and owned convenience stores. He currently is working on a downtown development project in Shippensburg, he said.

Seven Republicans and five Democrats filed nominating petitions by Tuesday's deadline to appear on the primary ballot.

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