With all the proof of financial mismanagement in Luzerne County such as the debit card misuse and a never ending unbalanced budget these geniuses come up with more ways to spend money or forgo revenue.
Officials want to hire consultant to review purchasing policies
I think hiring the army of consultants the last few years has contributed to this fiscal mess. We elected the commissioners to set policy and they hire people to manage our money but they're going to bring in people from outside to explain to them what is right from wrong ? You can write all the policies you want but if they are not enforced they're worthless. So the response to the ethical lapses and lack of basic math skills is to spend more money. Incredible.
In middle of this mess the local Chamber of Commerce shows up looking for a handout.
Chamber requests $3.5 M in loan forgiveness
I haven't looked at the merits of the proposal but boy is the timing bad. The county can't pay this years bills plus things aren't looking good for next year and these guys want to renege on paying back some loans. Only in Luzerne County can a Democratic politician resign his office to head up the local Chamber then come back to that same body to ask for a sweetheart deal.
Other Debit Card news:
Deputy Warden Sam Hyder has not provided receipts for all his charges and was ordered to pay back anything he can't document but he wasn't fired, Yet. Skrep backs him for now but I think he will be thrown under the bus in an attempt to save the rest of their asses. The rest of the Magnificent Seven also some explaining to do.
Some people came out to protest what has been going on:
Protesters insist Skrep resign
Taxpayers Demand Resignations in Luzerne County
And one guy is going to file a criminal complaint. W-B: Joseph Naperkowski said he wants justice for Luzerne County taxpayers.
He plans to file a private criminal complaint against the seven officials using county-issued debit cards this morning with Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas’ office.
Lupas will either blow it off or kick it down the road to the PA Attorney General who has already said that he won't investigate because of the Secret Service investigation. And what about that probe by an agency of almost universal acclaim in the investigation of financial crimes. This quote didn't make me confident.
WILKES-BARRE- The U.S. Secret Service field office in Philadelphia has requested a copy of the debit-card internal audit being conducted by the Luzerne County Controller’s Office, county Controller Maryanne Petrilla said Wednesday...Just because the Secret Service is investigating the debit-card usage, it doesn’t automatically mean the case will lead to criminal prosecution, Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Slama said.
“A lot of times we can suggest best business practices, set up a system of checks and balances, internal audits, impartial review and other general business accounting practices,” Slama said.
Forget the Secret Service and the Attorney General the agency that matters in this is the IRS.
I think it's pretty simple. If the people who had the debit cards in 2006 and charged personal expenses to it without declairing it as income on that year's 1040 will have to answer to charges of tax evasion.
6 hours ago