Friday, January 17, 2014

Sletvold Nomination Losing Steam

While Executive John Brown has now named Directors of Human Services and Economic Development, his pick for Public Defender, Bob Sletvold, appears to be losing steam. This appointment will prevent Judge Jennifer Sletvold, his wife, from hearing any matters involving the Public Defender's Office. Her criminal and juvenile load will have to be borne by other judges.

It appears that only Peg Ferraro, Glenn Geissinger and Mat Benol support the Sletvold pick. All Democrats are opposed, and Republicans Hayden Phillips and Seth Vaughn are leaning against it, in the face of a lot of pressure.

To make matters even more dicey, Glenn Geissinger has informed fellow Council members that he'll be at St. Thomas during next week's meeting. He intends to vote by phone. This is legit, but he has to be able to hear the deliberations leading up to the vote.

While many of Brown's cabinet posts still remain empty, Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller has already lost one.

Dennis Reichard, former Business Administrator in Bethlehem, was tapped to be Lehigh County's fiscal guy. But Randy Kraft reports that Reichard has had a change of heart.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it one of the new picks was heavily influenced by Stoffa insiders. God help John Br9own.

Anonymous said...

Good on Phillips and Vaughn.

Too bad about Geissinger.

Told you so about Benol.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

No one should have to read between the lines. the Da and President Judge have said they are OK with it. You want people to read the courts code, bullshit.

Those folks live in Cloud City and play word games so as not to soil their little hands with the dirty business of politics they play everyday behind closed doors.

County Council has been given a qualified pick and if on the night of the vote neither the court nor the Da show up and complain, He should be confirmed. enough with the judge not wanting to step on feet bullshit. What next, they have a bad case of the vapors?

They aren't mind readers nor should they be. The Democrats are playing partisan politics and neither Vaughn or Phillips should be sucked into this game.

Stop being a flunky.

Anonymous said...

I read about the appointments. Really?

At what point does Lehigh County not run Northampton County? Sounds like the Stoffa Admisntration Part 2.

Unfortunate

Anonymous said...

Lehigh County rejects or they would be leading Lehigh County.

Anonymous said...

Eaten alive with the Northampton County crew!

Would be interesting to get the back story on this one. I heard about the Stoffa connection as well. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

You elect a man with zero experience, what did you expect? Great government?

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:33, For the third time, no DA or judge has ever said he is "OK" with this. While they have not condemned the nomination, they have never said it is OK.

What Morganelli has said is that it has no impact on him. He is neutral.

What Baratta has said is that this will deprive Judge Sletvold, outs him in an awkward situation. You don't say that when you're OK with something.

This exercise in bad government is a terrible way for Brown to start his admin. As for the Dems being involved in partisan politics, they unanimously confirmed his pick for Solicitor. They will likely confirm his other picks. His Sletvold pick is simply bad government. It is actually a matter that could end up hurting someone. I hope nothing like that happens, but don't Brown and the Sletvolds see that it is possible? Is their ego more important than the public safety?

Anonymous said...

Donaher is Browns best choice so far.

hope they stop this other obvious conflict of interest and over burden on the courts

why did Dennis R quit?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It sounded like Dennis is just tired of the bullshit associated with public office.

I know nothing about Donaher, although I heard her praised by some of my F/B friends.

Unless something comes out that is disqualifying, I see no reason why anyone would speak against these picks.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 8:01. Donaher good choicee she is liked by the muckiddy mucks and that is necessary in that position. She speaks their language.

the Frantz pick not sure about. She has been in Lehigh County a long time in a very limited and narrow role. Not much depth of experience in the other areas. Or managing any staff. Sshe has zero knowledge or experience with nursing homes and that will be a big issue.

Heard she was pushed by some of Stoffa's old Lehigh County pals, like the last time.

Too soon to tell but of the two, she is the more sketchy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The notion that Stoffa supports the Frantz pick is inaccurate. Incidentally, I thought Brown was now the Executive. If you think this is a bad pick, tell him or tell the Council that must confirm her. As for me, absent hearing something that disqualifies her, Brown is entitled to his own people. They serve at his pleasure, and if any of them fail, they can be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Donaher was a disaster in Bethleheum under Don C. Let's see if he has the courage to admit it.

Anonymous said...

Don't BS Barnie. You know darn well Brown still has Harp working for him. That ensures the Stoffa legacy lives on and the Stoffa type people are hired. So far it is holding true.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. The DA and the President Judge are not getting in the middle of the Exec's pick of the Chief PD. The PJ isn't going to come out and object. He has to remain impartial. If you can read his comments, w/o being politically motivated, you can see that he is saying the appointment of Bob Sletvold to the Chief PD position really jams up his Court. 75% of the criminal cases will have to be handled by the other Judges. Judge Sletvold will not get the experience handling many motions and other miscellaneous matters that routinely come before the Court on non-trial days b/c they will involve the PD's office. She will not have the same experience as the other Judges when it comes to a criminal caseload. I didn't see that restriction on the ballot next to her name.It quite clearly hampers the ability of the Pres Judge to administer the Court's caseload.

Anonymous said...

12:34 absolutely right 100% on the reading and comprehension exam. I only wish the nutty Republican T-party people on council could pass the same test.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 9:40-are you serious??? You must be talking about another Diane Donaher!!!!,because the one we had in ED in the City of Bethlehem was terrific - ask anyone who has ever worked with her-SHE IS THE BEST!!!

Anonymous said...

Bernie, stop implying this will hurt someone. The court has an obligation to hear PFAs timely. If Judge Sletvold can't, someone else will have to.

I agree that this was not a wise political decision by Brown because it left him open for attack and any work around will require an increased budget. Further, it would tarnish Judge Sletvolds reputation if and when she runs for another office.

However, the outcry over this is clearly partisan politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The pro-Sletvold argument requires you to assume the courts are ok with this, when they have in fact expressed reservations. It requires you to call opposition partisan politics, when many of the Rs I know are opposed. Finally, it requires you to discount the very real public safety issue that exists.

Let me be more clear. If a PFA contempt or bail revocation has to be delayed bc Motions Judge Sletvold is conflicted and no other judge is available, it is vey possible that the person remaining at large can kill or injure someone. I would hope that it does not happen, but it is a distinct possibility.

Sletvold was elected to be a judge, not half a judge. What brown and her husband have done is actually handcuff the person most responsible for his election.

Sorry, but politics has nothing to do with this. You have heard no complaint from me concerning his other picks. But this requires a public spot light, and it is getting it.

This is not Bangor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:20, last time I checked, Brown was the County Exec. Are you suggesting he so weak-willed?

Anonymous said...

1:55, I voted for Judge Sletvold. I voted for her to handle ALL matters that come before the Court. I did NOT vote for her caseload to be revised based on her husband's political ambition. Her job is not likely to be affected when she runs for retention. That's 10 years from now and this issue will die for most voters. The issue here is about Brown creating a problem for the Courts and the arrogance of Sletvold's husband in pretending like this is no biggie. It is not partisan politics.

Anonymous said...

If either the court judges or the Da comes before county council next week and rises concerns, don't vote for hum. If neither show up, they are less than concerned and he should be approved.

Simple really.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You know that is not going to happen . Judge Barstta has stated he feels awkward about this matter, and it has no direct bearing on the DA. Speaking out on this issue will open them up to charges they are invading the Executive's prerogative.

This is simply bad government. It endangers the public safety. And I will never support Sletvold's retention bid. She has displayed an arrogance for the public she was elected to serve. Ditto Brown.

Anonymous said...

Very shaky start for Brown. Who is running the county? Some say Stoffa crony Ton Harp is making the early calls.

Who knows but as of now some are questionable at best.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brown is the elected county exec, not harp. I realize you Stoffs haters are trying to tag him for everything, including the Iraqi war, but you are getting a bit ridiculous. This is a Brown call. Stoffa would never give the PD job to Sletvold. He has one. He does not even know Ms. Donaher, and would not agree with the HS choice. But you elected Brown. ... and the LV Partnership.

Anonymous said...

"and would not agree with the HS choice."

Bernie, what makes you say thus? How pray tell do you know if he would agree or not and why?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You'll find out Monday.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I heard that Ron Heckman actually talked to the some of the Republican victors after the election about county issues. I also heard he offered to help with the HS transition if it would maintain stability in some county change over to consolidated care. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Stoffa was responsible for the Iraq war? Well, now it all adds up. So many things becoming clearer.

Unrest in central Arica right now. Stoffa's handiwork as well?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Undoubtedly. I believe he's also connected to South American drug lords, and has recently started taking Spanish lessons.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:41, if they passed up on talking to Ron or Jerry, then shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Ron Jeremy?

c said...

Confirmation of this appointment will be bad government, period. Why come out of the blocks with a decision that is questionable at best?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Franz involved with that HAO misuse of funds scandal years ago?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am looking into her nomination, and hope to have a story by Monday.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are on the story O'Hare. There are people who push people for an agenda without knowing all the facts. You are on to something and it must be considered. Especially at this time

It not only is elitist and dumb but sometimes hurts a person who is not aware of the scrutiny that comes with these appointments.

Anonymous said...

There was a problem in Lehigh County with the funds some years ago and yes she was involved as well as a few others who I do not believe are there at this time. This was quite a few years ago but the state did step in.
Don't know the full story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am looking into it and hope to have a story early next week.

Anonymous said...

Good on Phillips and Vaughn, that they still give a shit what the people say AFTER they've secured the vote.

Too bad about Geissinger.

Told you so, about Benol. He loves the taste of boot leather.

-Clem