Thursday, October 15, 2009

This week in Luzerne County corruption

Wilkes-Barre Area School Board President Frankie "Kneecaps" Pizzella pleas not guilty to being part of a job selling scheme in 2004 before he became a school director.

17 Down and Hundreds? To Go

Finally, one of the people who has been paying bribes is charged.

CV: Richard Emanski, owner of King Glass and Paint Co., has agreed to plead guilty to one count of bribery, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court. Prosecutors say he installed carpeting in the home of an unnamed school board member between November and December 2004 in return for the board member's support of his efforts to secure a district carpeting contract.

The School Director is not named in the indictment but it's either James Height or Brian Dunn.

Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority Director Allen Bellas and president of the Wyoming Valley West School Board admitted that he took a $2,000 bribe from a contractor who secured a government loan through the authority for one of those great job creation schemes called Tax Increment Financing which is similar to the Keystone Opportunity Zones. They keep telling us that the benefit of these programs is that they will bring "good paying jobs to area because of our great work ethic." I think it's corporate welfare and you and me pay more property taxes because of it.

CV reporter Dave Janoski get's out his crayon and connects the dots. The bribe was paid by Anthony Trombetta who owns Insignia Point Courtyard and Intellacom Inc. Intellacom had contracts with the Wyoming Valley West and Pittston Area school districts and Luzerne County Community College. The firm has been paid about $1.6 million by the three institutions for work on computer and security systems since 2003. 2 grand for a security camera that can be bought for a few hundred bucks elsewhere should be looked at. Two Pittston Area officials have also pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from unnamed school district contractors. Trommetta also owned a restaurant that went belly up.

I'm actually rooting for Frank Pizzella in this mess. He want's a trial and so do I so names can be named. All these people that are pleading to just one crime leaves us wondering what else they did.

Did I mention that Allan Bellas' wife, Nancy Bellas, is the Democratic candidate for Prothonotary.


Anonymous said...

I can see Hundreds a whole network Dont fight the fed

Anonymous said...

Tough shot at Nancy Bellas. She could be a saint or even a devil but being married to Alan Bellas is not a crime and doesn't define her character. I will absolutely vote for Nancy Bellas. Haven't we had enough of Carrolee?

Is there something wrong with the scales of justice? Miracle gets a slap on the hand with a charge that he did not report a crime but Emanski bets a real kick in the ass with bribery charges. I guess the difference is that using hundreds of thousands in a bribery scheme is much worse than installing carpeting.

Austin said...

Glad to see them finding corruption at LCCC. There has got to be more going on there. They have a massive tax payer funded budget, lousy services and the teachers are making some of the lowest salaries in the NE of the country.

It just doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

can't vote carolee, can't vote carolee, won't vote carolee

Gort said...

Carolee has spent months saying I told you so. She wins in a walk.

Anonymous said...

Saying I told you sure as hell does not qualify Carolee for office. so and when she was there it was impossible to work around her. Does anyone remember the fiasco when she didn't like the color of her office carpet and insisted on spending a bucket of cash to replace the color????? NO CAROLEE. If the posters on this site who scream out about good government don't post NO on Carolee then they are as bad as any problem we have, they a condoning piss poor government.

Austin said...

Got anything else on Carolee anon? With maybe sources?

Anonymous said...

Trombetta also owns Connolly Field Development in Luzerne that is at a total standstill. That land was also part of a huge Redevelopment Authority giveaway. He's made a mess all over the place. Hopefully he was wearing a wire for that deal.

taxpayerX20 said...

Terra Firma is the name of the company that bought Connolly's Field and is owned by Trombetta. The Feds really need to go back to 2003 when the land was awarded to Finishing Touches, Inc. and then eventually sold to Connolly Field, LLC.(over a 2 1/2 year period) The Feds need to look at the relationships between the buyer(s) and the seller(s) to understand why over $250,000 of taxpayers money was spent after they agreed to sell it for $40,000. The entire Borough Council was lied too by certain individuals along with fake meeting minutes justifying the sale. It's all in the Borough Records. The existing Council is weak and needs new leadership. A detailed Power Point timeline of the transaction can be downloaded at