Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DA's White Collar Prosecution Draws Thanks in Bethlehem Township

BT Manager Howard Kutzler Will Take No Per Diem
Following a nearly week long trial earlier this month, a Northampton County jury convicted two Scranton area businessmen of stealing nearly $832,000 from Bethlehem Township. Instead of buying street lights from PPL, as promised, this duo spent large sums of money on themselves. Instead of passing this complicated case off to one of his assistants, District Attorney John Morganelli tried the case himself. He may not know this, but his efforts were recognized at the January 21 meeting of the Township's Board of Commissioner.

President Paul Weiss publicly thanked the veteran prosecutor for his hard work. "We recognize that white collar cases are hard to prove," Weiss acknowledged.

This Scranton pair - Robert Kearns and Patrick "P.J." McLaine - will be sentenced on March 15, and Weiss intends to read a victim impact statement for the Township.

In other business, Commissioners unanimously approved dental offices on a 1.34 acre tract located along the southeast intersection of Freemansburg Avenue and Farmersville Road. With this green light, Dr. Charles Wolfe will relocate his Linden Street offices to a 2-story, 8,000 sq. ft. building with 33 parking spaces.He plans to start as soon as possible.

Commissioners also established a "fire relations committee" to pursue joint ventures with the township's two fire companies in the hope that it will save money. The Committee will be made up of nine members, including the Fire Marshall, two commissioners and three members from each fie company.

Finally, the Board unanimously agreed to send Township Manager Howard Kutzler to a four-day planning conference in Chicago. Instead of seeking a per diem, Kutzler told Commissioners he'd pay for his own meals and ground transportation. After the meeting, Kutzler explained that since taxpayers help fund his planning certification, he feels obliged to do his part as well.

This contrasts sharply with the Pennsylvania legislature. State lawmakers who live more than 50-miles away from the state capitol can seek complete reimbursement for food, lodging and other expenses, without even being required to produce receipts.

Commissioner will meet again on Monday, February 4, 7 PM, at the Municipal Building located at 4225 Easton Avenue.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need more government employees with the attitude of this man! A true man working for the people.

Anonymous said...

Most of the municipal managers have the same attitude of Howard.

Anonymous said...

Another fleecing of the taxpayers. He and all government employees should pay for their own training and education. He may be a nice guy, but to bad. Why do we have to keep paying for this shit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He did pay for his own education. This is a planning certification, which is of use to no one except those in local government. He should not be forced to pay for that any more than a police officer should have to pay to be certified on the proper use of a breathalyzer. And if I were he, I'd insist on the government paying my meals and transportation bc that's what happen in the real world. .

Anonymous said...

BOH 837. Excellent point. This Cert is part of the cost of doing business, private or public.

I have used personal travel vouchers to attend professional enrichment courses and attended other training courses at my own expense. This was by choice. Othertimes, I have been fully compensated. Never ever should it be mandatory or expected for an employee to perform work related training or tasks on his or her time. It is unethical and against labor laws.

802 You really need a course in business ethics!

Anonymous said...

Are there none of these certification classes in PA/NJ? If so then he's not really helping out the taxpayers is he. If this is the only training available then I give him some credit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is the only training available for that length of time. Rather than taking several days off throughout the year, Kutzler gets 40 hours of training in 4 days every 2 years. It is more efficient for the Township and more economical to the taxpayer. In addition to giving him the credit he deserves, you should apologize if you are the person who made the earlier snark.

Anonymous said...

Morganelli is a great man and should be rated as a war hero! As Clint said in GrandTorino "its what they don't tell you to do"¿

The war has been on American soil for years now and elected officials that appoint there good old boys sect to official seats is the biggist white collar crime upon the nation¿ They are bilking BILLIONS from the small town america under the guise of HOME RULE CHARTER¿