Crime

Expert DUI defense witness lied about credentials, pleads no contest

An expert defense witness called to testify at two DUI trials in Centre County and at others across the state has pleaded no contest to lying about his credentials.

Joseph Citron, 68, entered the plea Tuesday in Lancaster County to counts of perjury, false swearing and unsworn falsification, according to the Centre County District Attorney’s Office and court documents.

Citron was charged with padding his resume to qualify as an expert and lying on the stand about his experience in Centre, Clinton, Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

He was sentenced to spend seven years on intermediate punishment, including 60 days house arrest, and was fined $1,000, Centre County prosecutors said.

The Atlanta resident was called as a defense witness for two Centre County residents facing separate DUI trials in 2011. In both of those cases, the defendants were found guilty on DUI charges despite his testimony, according to court documents.

Local prosecutors said Citron testified that he was appointed in 2000 by then-Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes to a statewide “Drunk Busters” task force that reviewed field sobriety test procedures with police departments.

He also testified that he taught those procedures to police while working as an instructor for the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

Investigators in Georgia, at the request of prosecutors in Lancaster County, concluded that Citron testified falsely about his involvement with the programs.

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