This is both funny and infuriating.
For weeks WILK's Steve Corbett had heard rumors that long time Clerk of Courts Robert Reilly was selling cars as a side job at a Wilkes Barre Twp car dealership. Nothing wrong with supplementing your income. We’ve all done that at one time or another. But apparently Reilly was selling cars during the hours he was supposed to be administering the Clerk of Courts office. The intrepid Corbett called the auto lot at 10:26AM and got Reilly on the blower. After a brief conversation, Reilly told the radio host he’d call him on the air at 5:06PM later that afternoon and explain what was going on. Needless to say, the call never came.
He is spending his/our time at Nationwide Car Sales on Mundy St. behind the Mall next to the defunct Ground Round. Go say Hello.A few year ago I would stop by a local beer distributor on a weekday afternoon to pick up a few adult beverages and spotted Reilly working there.
The subject of work hours has been a hot topic in the Luzerne County Controller race.
At the recent LWV forum at Wilkes University the only Democrat in the race, Bob Morgan, was noncommittal on spending 8 hours a day in the office. “I think we sometimes get too focused on the idea that we’re there from a certain time to a certain time. The reality is: Can you do the job? Do you have the ability to do the job?”
Republican Edd Brominski said he was retired so he had nothing else to do and cited his experience as a Democratic County Commissioner claiming he would be in the office 7Am until 11PM if necessary.
Nanda Palissery said he finds the question about whether or not he will be a full-time controller “offensive” and said he will be in the office when needed.
Water Griffith said he wasn't offended by the question and committed to being in the office 8:30M-4:30PM and later every day. “For $38,000 a year, which is probably double what a normal citizen of this county makes, if I can’t commit to you to be in that office every single hour that you would be in your job, then shame on me.”
Bob Sypniewski also said he will show up for work saying; "You put me there to serve. How dare me then on your time do my business?”
CPA Alice Coffman also wouldn't commit; “Will that mean I’m in that office everyday eight hours? I’m not going to sit here and promise that to you, because I don’t think that that is likely.
Walter sent along this guest post on the subject.
I would like to write in regarding the story about Bob Reilly " Luzerne County Clerk of Courts" and his ability to have a job as a Automobile salesman in addition to his County Row Office.
Mr. Reilly is a disgrace to the County Row Officers and the taxpayers for his behavior and he should immediately quit his job as a salesman or County Row Officer. This is the same person that has stated "on the record" that his job requires more money from the taxpayers and he has demonstrated that he isn't even on the job "Full Time". This is the same person that used the County Taxpayers money to fund a lawsuit against the taxpayers to stop the Clerk of Courts budget because it was not enough funds for his office.
The Luzerne County Courthouse has had its time in the sun for to long for all the wrong reasons, and this is just another case of the abilities of a few, that tarnish the entire beauty of the wonderful building that will be celebrating its 150.year's of existence.
My time has been spent the past 3 years trying to hold the elected officials of this County accountable to the taxpayers, by attending County Commissioner meetings, and asking for accountability and transparency in government, when all the rest of the candidates that have now come on the scene have been silent.
The County Commissioners have never held anyone accountable for their abuse of power in government in the past, and I as a taxpayer advocate, have been trying to have them do this since attending the first meeting regarding the issue of the Debit Card abuser's in which I call the "magnificent seven".
The taxpayers of Luzerne County should and must have elected officials that are "Full Time" and should not accept anything less, and this can be accomplished by instituting a policy in personnel that requires everyone to "Log In" and "Log Out" and show mileage for all travel to designate their time out of the office.
I have been asking for the use of a " Badge Scanner" or "time Clock" to verify the attendance of all County Employee's and I feel with the abuse of this type with Mr. Reilly it is long over due for the taxpayers.
I, as a taxpayer advocate, the past three years in the County, and the past 7 years in the City of Wilkes Barre, have taught me several lessons about our government regarding our Elected Officials like Mr. Reilly and Ms. Moran, as well as a few others, that feel they are above the same rules of employment as the people they supervise, and that is that we, as taxpayers, are always being taken advantage of by a few people in government that can get away with it, and we need people to always be there asking questions and holding our government accountable.
I, as your taxpayer advocate, have attended the meetings at my own cost, and have been a taxpayer advocate for the taxpayers of Luzerne County on many issues that concern abuse of power by the elected officials. I spoke out for the taxpayers regarding the "Debit Cards" and tried to have the "Abuser's" fired for their actions, however the Commissioners chose to turn their heads and wink and nod at this type of corruption.
I, as a your taxpayer advocate, represented everyone in the County. at my own cost, regarding the court case to borrow over 16 million dollars because of the Commissioners reckless spending and was successful in having the courts rule in the taxpayers favor to lower that to 5 million.
The reason for my bringing this to light is because at election time, we always seem to see candidate ask for the taxpayers confidence and vote, and then we never hear from them again after the election. I have demonstrated that I will always be there for the taxpayers "AT MY OWN EXPENSE" because I truly care about them and its not about myself or the money.
I vow to all the taxpayers that I will be a " FULL TIME" Controller, and that means that I will be in the office at the same times that I expect my staff to be there, and I will lead by example. I will not abuse the taxpayers like Mr. Reilly or Ms. Moran or the others that are pledging to be "FULL TIME" just to get elected and then "Thumb their noses" at the taxpayers once they are elected. I will be the right person for the job and will not pay a vendor for work if they don't follow the contract like what happened with 21st Century and our botched reassessment for the profit of our corrupt officials.
I would like to conclude by saying that there are several people that are professionals running for public office, and are asking for your support to get the votes required to win the election on May 19th.I would suggest that each taxpayer ask this one very important question on election day and that is " Where were these people that are asking for our vote when we needed them when our elected officials were abusing their power and our money" ?
Walter L Griffith Jr
Candidate for Luzerne County Controller