Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cusick, Stoffa Make Right Call Concerning Barron

Northampton County Controller Steve Barron blatantly violated the Home Rule Charter for two reasons: First, our "full time" Controller was spending twelve hours in the middle of every work week teaching at Northampton Community College; Second, he was teaching at a College funded by the County, and whose funds he is supposed to audit. He betrayed the public trust and broke his own word to voters. He'll have to explain that if he wants to run again, but his resignation as a teacher should end the County's inquiry. It stops the violation.

Sure, Council could convene acrimonious hearings and insist on filing a quo warranto proceeding. They could sanction him, condemn him and break out the rope. But they'd be on their own. DA John Morganelli only gets involved when there is no factual dispute and pure questions of law. An already busy busy Council Solicitor would have to develop a record and litigate the case.

It would be great political theater. I'd love it. I'd get enough material for a year's worth of blogs. But sooner or later, it would paralyze County government. There's no good reason to replicate what is going on federally.

I've seen Barron, Lamont McClure and others go after Executive John Stoffa in a witch hunt. I was dragged through court after court, too. Barron, under the color of his office, even began calling some of my title searching customers with questions about me, perhaps trying to scare them away.

But when John Stoffa and John Cusick both had a chance to unload on Barron, they passed. Some of you think Barron should be prosecuted, and perhaps you're right. But I believe Stoffa and Cusick are guided by the best interests of the County, not some vindictive political battle. They both displayed something rarely seen - statesmanship. They have a budget to debate and adopt and bridges to repair. Now that the Controller has been duly reminded that full time means full time, as he himself once acknowledged, we can move on, and Barron can pretend he did nothing wrong.

In the meantime, I have a new job teaching at the Community College, starting today. I plan to flunk every one of those little bastards.

I'm wearing shorts, too.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a crock of shit. Stoffa passed on his "tip" on Barron to the DA. He made his biased pious comment to both papers about Mr. Barron's transgressions.

Remember folks, this is the same county executive who told county council thy should exempt his Human Services Director from the law that states he can't work for a county contractor for a year.

The old bullshiting do as I say and not as I do Stoffa. Exempt me and my pals but publically destroy people I don't like.
Hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your 1:29 AM comment, Mr. Barron. Always humble and contrite, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

No he isn`t.

Anonymous said...

Fact is, Barron violated the Home Rule Charter. So did Marcus. Folks can rationalize the differences, but I understand why it appears like disparate response.

Fact also is, it looks like Barron is wearing crocs in the picture. swear to god, those things are like doucebag detectors.

Kevin Cerino said...

What about his financial disclosure form? Did he disclose his income from NCC? If he did not, he would be guilty of committing a misdemeanor. Don't hold your breath for Morganelli to prosecute.

Anonymous said...

He is a betrayor of the public trust and should be held fully accountable. Only crimes against children, women and the elderly are worse, in my opinion.

When the penalty for getting caught is simply "Oh, sorry. I'll stop and won't do that anymore...until I do," Government types will continue their gorging, within and outside the rules.

The Brotherhood of the Feeder is solid, and even those whom otherwise despise each other know that protecting the trough is priority one.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Incumbents turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of incumbents is not good goverment. It's why politicians are despised. His conduct should be thoroughly investigated.

Anonymous said...

BO, did Barron commit a misdemeanor by not disclosing his income on the financial disclosure form? I understand Stoffa/Cusick not going after Barron, however, if a crime was committed, that's a different story and Morganelli does have the option to prosecute. I don't think this story has ended. If Morganelli refuses to prosecute, then the AG should step in.

Anonymous said...

If you are truly teaching this class, that is unreal. However, I think this may just be your poor attempt at humor. You put someone through the ringer, then profit from it. Isn't that exactly what you accuse certain people of doing? Being involved in something nefarious and scandalous for personal gain?

Anonymous said...

But he's not using, getting or wasting taxpayer money in his "nefarious" endeavors, now, is he?

-Clem

Anonymous said...

bo really put the spin on this one

Anonymous said...

If Barron was going to teach part-time he should have only accepted evening classes. To think he could work full-time and teach daytime classes, commuting out to Bethlehem Towmnship is ridiculous.

He should absolutely dress more professionally in the classroom. NCC should be humiliated to have an instructor coming into class looking like a student. I agree that NCC should be listed on his PA Financial Disclosure Form.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What about his financial disclosure form? Did he disclose his income from NCC? If he did not, he would be guilty of committing a misdemeanor. Don't hold your breath for Morganelli to prosecute."

Kevin, I have them. He did make disclosure. He did not, however, disclose to Council that he was accepting payments from an entity that does business with the County, which is required under the HRC.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"owever, if a crime was committed, that's a different story and Morganelli does have the option to prosecute. I don't think this story has ended. If Morganelli refuses to prosecute, then the AG should step in."

See the comment above. There is no crime. Not even close.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If you are truly teaching this class, that is unreal. However, I think this may just be your poor attempt at humor."

Of course it;s humor. You don't get out much, do you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If Barron was going to teach part-time he should have only accepted evening classes. To think he could work full-time and teach daytime classes, commuting out to Bethlehem Towmnship is ridiculous"

Bingo. Had he done this, no one would have said a word.

Anonymous said...

"There is no crime. Not even close."

Think this should be your header for these articles. Yawn.....

Anonymous said...

The change in the Home Rule Charter clearly states "No other jobs or work" For he Controller to not be able to comprehend this. Makes me weary of him Auditing and Reviewing Work for the County.

For Council to just say, stop it now and we won't worry about the past is simply an easy way to get out of this. What about the year and half that he did it. Barron knew he wasn't suppose to be doing the work, and they knew he was doing it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Blog Mentor, this story has resulted in four news accounts and one Bill White blog. It has resulted in Barron's resignation from NCC, which I know is doing his students a favor. And it is bc he violated the HRC in two different ways. He committed no crime, and I wanted to make that clear. This series of stories over the span of a few days has had more impact on our government than you've managed in a decade of hate email, anonymous blogs, marches to Allentown City Hall, etc. All people have doen is ... yawn.

Now you can return to rolling on the floor, foaming at the mouth.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Oh they could pursue this and demand their pound of flesh, but to what purpose? Always give your opponent room to retreat. There is a county government to run, and that is what is needed, not the Steve Barron show.

Personally, i'd love it bc I would not have to do anything other than take notes. But it would not be int the County's best interests to pursue this more than has alrady occurred.

Talk to a police officer, just your every day patrolman. if he wanted to, he could spend the entire day citing people. He'd be right but would eventually look like a legalisitic idiot. Let's not fall into that trap.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"bo really put the spin on this one"

I'm no Barron fan, but believe in being fair. I believe the way Stoffa and Cusick have handled this is in the highest traditions of Northampton County. They acted in accordance with the two words on the County seal - justice and mercy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Clem, He is not, and he will have to explain this to voters when he runs again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Please. Those kids just caught a break and learned a valuable lesson on ethics."

I think I did them a favor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Barron violated the Home Rule Charter. So did Marcus."

Disagree. Marcus did not violate. A former employee is not bound by the Charter. It is CACLV, the contractor, who is in violation.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Barron works at night, or else Bernie is making up reports from various meetings over the years.
If all politicians work days only, transparency and citizen participation dwindle, and part time politicians, like council, won't be able to attract enough people to serve.
What is full time hours for a politician? 35? 40? 60? 90? Do the hours have to be continuous?
This whole thing about full time should be explained.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Barron betrayed the public trust and violated the HRC bc he spent 12 hours per week, in the middle of the work week, doing something else. Had he done so at night, nobody would mind, nt even me.

Take a look at Barron's own words, as quoted by Bill White.

http://blogs.mcall.com/bill_white/2013/10/my-old-buddy-steve-barron-is-in-the-news-again.html

Anonymous said...

So the Norco controller is a 9 to 5 job? No night time obligations. Or is he/she expected to be available at all times.
What about a sign in, flexi time, sheet? And a minimum number of hours?
Bernie, whether he violated or didn't violate any rules is irrelevant to the question of what the hours of a controller, a future controller, should be.
What do you think the requirements should be?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think this is a tough question. A F/T elected official is expected to be available 24/7. There may be times when a personal commitment draws him away during regular business hours, but he should not schedule classes or other P/T activities during the actual work week, when county workers may need his assistance.

Anonymous said...

We disagree

Tea Party Footsoldier said...

Readers, please consider the counter argument on this matter brought to you by a future star of the 9-12 project.

http://westeastonfootprint.blogspot.com/2013/10/steve-barron-did-nothing-wrong.html

Occupy Barron's Supervoters said...

Nah, she's more THC party and 4:20 project for supporting the Goodyear blimp of NorCo Democrats. Let's face it, Barron is the singular most popular Democrat in the county - by a very w i d e electoral margin. NorCo Dems know a quality standard bearer when one is presented in Bernie's fleeting photograph like a Yeti in the wilds of Bethlehem Township.

Anonymous said...

" Bernie O'Hare said...
Clem, He is not, and he will have to explain this to voters when he runs again.

11:03 AM"

I was responding to 9:33 am who, I believe, was attempting to bust your chops.

-Clem