Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Luzerne County Prothonotary

A few days ago Democratic incumbent Jill Moran said this in the Citizens Voice:

"If you're a good manager, you can run a good office and you don't have to be there all the time,' Moran said. "I haven't had any complaints about the way my office is run. I'll be in the office as much as I need to be."

This was in response to the charge by her Republican opponent former Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski that she is rarely in the office. One of the joys of politics is when your opponent proves your point for you, it has been revealed that a clerk has been signing Moran's name to official documents when she is not around. The Times-Leader has the details :

The fine print says Luzerne County Prothonotary Jill A. Moran was present when Sheriff Barry Stankus signed a deed of sale and declared the facts contained in it were true. The document even bears Moran's signature. But Moran acknowledged Monday she had her office clerk, Lana Bidwell, sign her name on that deed and others sheriff sale deeds when Moran was busy or out of the office. Moran said she had Bidwell sign so the documents wouldn't miss deadlines.

Everybody has deadlines and are usually aware of them so they can schedule their time accordingly. The lawyers will determine if this is legal but the other county officers do not allow other people to sign their names. Legal or not, it shows a serious lapse of judgment, especially for an attorney. Carolee makes some good points:

"Whether she gave Lana permission or not, those are legal documents, and I don't believe she has the legal right to have someone else do that for her." It would be less suspicious, she said, if Bidwell had put her own initials after Moran's name or had written "Lana Bidwell on behalf of Jill Moran." Medico Olenginski said she believes the signing of Moran's name was an attempt to cover up Moran's lack of presence in the office. Moran says she's in the office as much as she needs to be and constantly communicates with staff when she's not there. "Obviously Jill Moran is never there because I'm sure the sheriff would accommodate her schedule," she said.



1 comment:

POPE GEORGE RINGO I said...

His Holiness believes that perhaps everyone is being a tad bit harsh on Jill; after all, how many tasks does a Prothonotary undertake? the job is probably 2 hrs. max daily. But what the Hell {Sorry, Boss}--this is Luzerne County--have a drink and a laugh and forget about it.