Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Walter wants the records

Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith continues his quest to bring order out of the chaos that passes for government in Luzerne County. Today's TL story says he has instructed the 70 plus departments to provide his office with all contracts, deeds, vehicle and equipment titles, bills of sale and any other records of property owned by the county government as required by law.

The Controller’s Office did not have copies of several contracts that have come under scrutiny in recent months, including ones for a River Common video, the Wyoming Valley Airport management company and a county records improvement consultant, he said.

Griffith has recently been in the news a lot lately and some people have accused him of grandstanding. I'm reminded of the old adage "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." I say every time he finds a problem he should make it public.

He wants the Sheriff's Department to account for all the firearms that are in their possession after it came to light that they were selling machine guns and other weapons without approval. Acting Sheriff Charles Guarnieri has been stonewalling.

Former Sheriff Michael Savokinas agreed to the Tommy gun sale in August 2009, and the transaction was completed after Savokinas resigned and Guarnieri became acting sheriff in September. Solicitor Vito DeLuca has said only county commissioners can approve sales of property, including firearms issued to the sheriff's office.

Records submitted by Guarnieri show the sheriff's office sold 42 handguns to sheriff's deputies in May and January. Those sales totaled $5,150.

He has also stopped outrageous bonus payments to a select few Sheriff's Deputies.

Other items under scrutiny are cell phones and driver's licenses.

I always said Walter was a pain in the ass and that is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Not a pain in the taxpayers ass! Only the asses that make us feel tax pains! Good Job Walt! Thankyou!Dave Baloga

Big Dan said...

So some people think that when people are actually doing their job and doing it correctly in the Luzerne County's "grandstanding". Interesting.

Anonymous said...

It seems the problem is not in doing business in view of the public, the problem is that nothing is done without a conversation with Andes and Buffer. How much time is devoted to PR while audits continue to be past due. I think the Controller should issue a statement making it very clear what audits were past due when he took over and what remains. That would be important public information.

As for the gun sales, I thought it was made clear that the Commissioners were aware of the sale and in fact the county attorney prepared and reviewed the bill of sale for the Tommy gun. As for the Controller's office having access to the confiscated weapons, it could very well breech the chain of evidence and cause major legal problems. There is no reason for the auditors to put hands on the evidence, a list of what is in the sheriff's possession should be sufficient.

This is not a statement pro or con on the Controller, it is a statement on the subject of the moment so please no "don't pick on Walter" responses, be bigger than that.

Pizza Pete said...

11:53, well put! You have a pizza on the way.

Anonymous said...

obviously there's a whole lot you DON'T know Anon 11:53 and pathetic pete.

Anonymous said...

I will be the first to say that I don't like Walter, nor did i vote for him. BUT if he is pointing out things that are shaddy or possible back door deals then rock on Walt, i have a problem with walter giving so much access to the news,I haven't seen so much access give to the Leader sense flood was in there, it is as if he wants credit for everything. How about do a good job people will notice. as for the current situation i have to say that it's nice to see that the old party politicians have to deal with a pain in the ass which may cause them to do things right for a change..

Anonymous said...

3:32- No one gets more self-serving press in the TL than Carolee.