Dallas American Legion post denies serving alcohol to fatal hit-and-run suspect

By Joe Dolinsky - jdolinsky@timesleader.com | December 29th, 2015 3:37 pm

By Joe Dolinsky



WILKES-BARRE — A Dallas American Legion post accused of over-serving a fatal hit-and-run suspect in the midst of a day-long drinking binge denied providing the alleged killer any alcohol, according to court documents filed this week.

American Legion Post 672 admits Michael Scavone, 50, had entered the legion but did not receive alcohol from employees on the day he allegedly struck and killed 31-year-old Paula Jones as she jogged along Lakeside Drive in Harveys Lake.

Jones’ husband, Brian A. Jones, filed a 20-page suit in August against Scavone as well as the legion post and several defendants associated with the Grotto Pizza restaurant and bar in Harveys Lake.

The suit claims Scavone had been drinking at both establishments on June 7 prior to the alleged hit-and-run and was served alcohol despite showing visible signs of intoxication.

In his answer to Jones’ suit filed Monday, Pittsburgh-based attorney Timothy Smith wrote the legion denied violating state liquor laws and urged the court to dismiss the suit.

“American Legion Post #672 denies in liability and demands judgment in its favor,” Smith wrote.

Scavone, of Harveys Lake, is currently jailed and awaiting trial on charges of homicide by vehicle while under the influence and seven other related offenses.

In a pair of court rulings last week, Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas denied a motion that sought to reduce Scavone’s bail so he could tend to the needs of his 75-year-old mother while Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. granted Grotto Pizza permission to retrieve Scavone’s cell phone records on the day of the hit-and-run.

Those records include Scavone’s GPS location, Internet searches and any calls, texts, emails or other written communications generated on June 7 from two phone numbers associated with Scavone.

Scavone’s homicide trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 29.

Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL