According to several people who work there, the new boss plays favorites. Others charge workers resist every effort to improve the place. According to a commenter, "Take anyone of them aside and they will rant on about every other person in that office. It is a most divisive atmosphere to work in. The money problem will continue and it's just waiting for the next [thief] to figure out how to get their hands on all that unaccounted for cash."
The criminal division is just one of six row offices that reports to the Director of Court Services. The other offices are Archives, Civil Division, Orphans Court, Protection from Abuse and
Register of Wills. Until recently, affable Bill Hillanbrand served as Director. But guess what? He bolted for 911 and emergency management. Apparently, that's less stressful.
At yesterday's Personnel Committee meeting, county executive John Stoffa proposed Archie D'Isidore III, a former Dun & Bradstreet public record consultant, as Hillanbrand's successor to this $59,000 cabinet level position. You'd think council members would be relieved that someone is on hand to keep a watchful eye on six offices. But this is the People's Republic of Northampton County, where nothing is simple.
The person who started the buzzsaw? Council member Ron Angle, normally a John Stoffa ally.
"It was always a hallwalker's job. It was a political plum. It was originally created so that Gene Hartzell could have a home. Glenn Reibman gave the job to Jerry Seyfried so Seyfried would not run against him. To put anybody in it is to continue that craziness."
As the hearing continued, things looked less and less hopeful for D'Isidore. Council members Diane Neiper and Angle both want to see a job description, and Council Prez Ann McHale dramatically revealed this appointment was actually based on the recommendation of Personnel chair John Cusick.
At first, Cusick tried to deny it, but McHale then produced a letter from Stoffa indicating that Cusick had, in fact, recommended D'Isidore for the job. Cusick then explained that D'Isidore is a family friend who indicated he was available. McHale wanted to know whether Cusick would recuse himself, and Cusick declined, stating he has no financial interest in the appointment.
McHale was not amused. "We're here to legislate, not to fill appointments."
D'Isidore's appointment is scheduled to go before council tonight. Who knows what will happen. But his nomination should be approved. It's true that the Director of Court Services has often been a political perk. But just as often, dedicated employees like Maurice Dimmick and Bill Hillanbrand have been in charge, and they improved the row offices. At this moment, those row offices need supervision. Perhaps council would prefer waiting until there's another embezzlement somewhere else.