The person who's been making these insinuations, Northampton County Controller Steve Barron, was there. So I demanded that, instead of doing his audits by newspaper, he tell Council, the Administration, and me exactly what we are supposed to have done that is wrong.
I was so angry, I can't tell you accurately what I said. Sarah Cassi's Express Times' account, which is much more objective than mine, is here. But I can tell you about a few others.
Director of Administration John Conklin: "Why wouldn't you come to us and ask the question before going to the newspapers? That suggests impropriety of a professional administration that's here, conducting the business."
Barron had no answer.
When Angle pressed him about going to the press first, Barron claimed that Jenna Portnoy, who is about 3' tall, "cornered" him and forced him to tell her everything.
"The day before I looked through the bill, I was pandering, I mean pondering ....
Angle: "You had that right. You were pandering."
Barron claimed there were witnesses to this vicious ambush.
Angle: "Would you agree, Mr. Barron, that your job as County Controller should be a very nonpolitical job?"
"Generally, yes. I do run for office."
Angle: "Well, that's pretty evident. This year, you're running for office and I see it in the newspaper about twice a week. ...
Angle: "Would you call it nonpolitical to be over at Verizon, making threats to the people who manage Verizon? Would you say that's nonpolitical?"
Angle: "T-Mobile. You can play dumb if you want. It comes natural."
Barron: "You know - um - ah"
Angle: "Was that nonpolitical?" OK. You were over at Gracedale pandering to the union people. Was that nonpolitical? At every event the Gracedale unions have, you're at every one of their events. Is that nonpolitical?"
Barron: "I'm friends with those people and I see them at Gracedale -"
Angle: "You're lifelong friends with all the union people at Gracedale. I understand. ... When you first took this job, I remember you at this podium telling us that you would make this your full time job, that it was a sizable pay increase from your previous job, and you'd be on the job full time.
Barron: "I did."
Angle: "How many hours a week do you work in your office?"
Barron: "Hard to say."
Angle: "Hard to say? If I were to tell you that people who are very familiar with your office tell me you may work 15 to 17 hours per week, actually in that office or in these buildings, auditing, would they be correct?"
Barron: "I - you know, Ron - you see me in the courthouse, I'm everywhere."
Angle: "A simple question, Mr. Barron. My question was simple. How many hours a week are you in that office across the street or in her auditing stuff."
Barron: "I'm done."
Barron then walked away from the podium, without answering Angle.
As Barron walked to his seat in the rear, Angle stated, "Your specialty is gutter-sniping, dealing with these people behind the scenes."
Angle: "You got a Solicitor, Mr. Barron, Timothy Brennan. Can you tell me how much money Mr. Brennan has donated to your campaign since you've been in office?"
Barron (from his seat in the peanut gallery): "I dunno."
Angle: "Does he routinely send money to you every so many months?"
Barron: "He's my friend."
Angle: "Oh, he's your friend. Does he have a County political job as a Solicitor for you and he's on the County payroll? He routinely pays you ... Your Solicitor on a routine business day pays you for that job. You want to bad mouth Mr. Stoffa? I never seen him take a nickel from anybody he shouldn't take a nickel from. But you take that money and you want to make comments to the newspapers that there's something wrong because Eckert Seamans made four telephone calls to me, to update me on the sale? Are you saying that was wrong?"
Barron had no answer.
Angle: "You know what, Mr. Barron. You are a political hack of the highest order. You're over at T-Mobile, pandering to unions. You're over at Gracedale, pandering to the unions. You are a gutless individual who spends 15 hours or less per week in that office. You tell the other people you're doing work at home when, in reality, you're catering to the unions, Mr. Barron. So don't tell me about the wonderful job. ... ."
"I wish you success in your election with the unions because if there's anything I've learned, there's a lot of people who don't belong to unions who also vote, Mr. Barron.
"Many people may vote against me because of Gracedale because I'm making a decision, solely based on I believe it's the only decision I can make under the circumstances. I won't pander or cater to anybody and I don't give a damn if you run my ass out of office next year. So be it. I can leave here saying every decision I made here was the right decision. I don't pander over at T-Mobile. I don't pander over at Gracedale, I don't go to all of these events. I don't bad mouth other people on stuff that there's no truth.
"Four calls from Eckert Seamans, they called me. Yet you got to the newspapers and told them a big story and they loved it. They made front page news out of those stories. There wasn't an ounce of truth in any of it, Mr. Barron. But let the record show when you draw u the minutes that Mr. Barron retreated to his seat in the audience and refused to talk."
After that, Barron ran the hell out of there.