This is guest post from Republican Luzerne County Controller candidate Walter Griffith.
This week I attended the Luzerne County Commissioner meetings which included the County Prison Board Meeting, Work Session and the Commissioner meeting .
The Public comment portion of the meetings I was allowed to address some issues at the Prison Board meeting and I asked about the Deputy Warden Sam Hyder issue regarding his taking vacation and not placing the time in the record for the payroll department and what if anything the County Prison Board was planning to do about this constant ability of our County Employees to take advantage of the taxpayers of this County. I was told they cant discuss it because it was a Personnel issue, but the question still remains as to why the Deputy Warden is still allowed to be on the payroll at all because of his constant and never ending ability to defraud the taxpayers of this County.
The Commissioner Meeting was then held on Wednesday and there was an issue regarding the termination of Veterans Director Richard Wren and 4 people spoke to his ability to be a fantastic Director and the fact that he has made a mistake and should be given a reprimand but not as severe as termination and this was ignored by two of the Commissioners and Mr Wren was terminated without a question or discussion.
My question and confusion here with this situation is a simple one, if the people that have abused the taxpayers by using the debit cards illegally were not terminated, and there was clearly plenty of evidence that they abused their power, then why was Richard Wren terminated without the ability to repay his mistake as well ?
What was different with this incident that was not the case with Mr Sam Hyder and James Blaum and the others ? What was it that made the crime that Richard Wren did to the taxpayers less offensive than that of the "Magnificent Seven" with the debit card debacle.
I think Mr Wren deserves proper reprimand and discipline but is termination of a Director of Veterans Affairs for a $70.00 infraction the proper punishment and what about the thousands of dollars that were taken by the "Magnificent Seven" and they were all allowed to keep their positions, and some were even rewarded with promotions.
The County Commissioners need to rethink their personnel policies and start looking at doing the right thing instead of the politically correct things for themselves.
Walter L Griffith Jr.
Luzerne County Controller Candidate