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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What's Wrong in Northampton County's HR Department?

Cathy Allen at James' side when raise was
sought that Administration later called a
"scrivener's error."
The departure late last month on Human Resources Director Tracie Barnes after less than six months on the job, is a sign that something is amiss. Instead of being run by a qualified HR director, it appears that Deputy Administrator Cathy Allen is running the show. She has no experience dealing with huge work forces, having only managed a 2-person office before coming to the County. Her educational skills are inadequate, too. She has a high school diploma with no other educational training in a very complicated field. These points were driven home by Council members last week, during an exchange with Executive John Brown.

Brown told Council President Peg Ferraro that he will "aggressively pursue" a replacement for Barnes.. "We agreed it was just not working out," he told Scott Parsons, and declines to discuss it further.

Parsons also complained about the Mancini lawsuit. Jill Mancini is a fired Assistant Solicitor awarded $94,000 by a federal jury who determined that her due process rights had been violated. In late July, a judge also awarded her $186,000 in attorney fees.

"When's this going to end?" Parsons asked. No time soon. Brown has appealed this matter, and was adamant that there are "larger issues" at stake than mere money.

Lamont McClure expressed concern at the jury's finding that Mancini's due process rights had been violated.

In addition to these questions about Barnes' sudden departure and the Mancini lawsuit, there are other signs that things are askew in Human Resources.

That very night, in a party-line vote, Council reneged on an administration-sponsored raise for 14 Magisterial District Judge workers. The person who worked on this raise, and who later said it was wrong?

Cathy Allen.

Personnel files for various jail employees were transferred from there to the Executive's office, and one Brown staffer actually thought corrections officers could be disciplined a second time for offenses in which they had already been disciplined. That person?

Cathy Allen.

At a termination hearing for Lieutenant Jason Rosati, who was incredibly fired for enforcing the uniform policy, Human Resources had one person sitting in the audience, taking notes.

Cathy Allen.

At that hearing, there was testimony that Lt. Rosati had made the mistake of enforcing the uniform policy against a corrections officer who was rumored to be a snitch. The person to whom she reported?

Cathy Allen.

I think it's clear why there are problems in Human Resources. It is not Tracie Barnes.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

There really are 10 Cathy Allens. She's everywhere at any given point in time. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Anonymous said...

It was not Ms. Barnes. However, it most likely isn't helped by the yenta's that work over there. Non-qualified relatives of vendors and girlfriends of top officials. At some point the pure unqualified nature of these people drive the most qualified people out of their minds. The answer, professionalism. Something that is sorely missed.

This is well known within the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Ship of fools on a cruel sea...

Anonymous said...

Sail away from me...

Anonymous said...

The problem in the HR Office comes down to three people. Lorraine Shintz, Linda Markwith, and Kathy Allen. Lorraine and Linda both got the illegal pay raises and both of them lack an educational background related to the positions they hold. Both of them advise the HR Director and Kathy Allen. The same is true to Allen who is out of her leauge. Linda and Lorraine both got their jobs because of Jim Hickey. Neither of them were qualified. One was a secretary and the other a complete outsider that a friend in the administration of Glenn Reibman. We have to work with these people everyday and we recieve very little guidance. They act like they are queens and you better not say anything bad about them are criticize them in anyway. They make bad decisions and we let them because if we tell them they are wrong our heads will roll.

Anonymous said...

is it election time yet?

Anonymous said...

10:06
NOVEMBER 3RD REMEMBER THAT DATE! Scomillio is running for JUDGE lol. Remember he is the one who fired Mancini and costing the County taxpayer even more money when Brown and Scomillio loose this appeal. Brown is campaigning hard for Scomillio this year, I wonder Why?

Anonymous said...

The problem is there is too many backdoor deals that go one. For example recent openings are frequently go to buddies not the best qualified. One example was the captains job at the Jail. I am told through a inside source that it was given to someone who was #9 on the eligibility list. Because of his connections they passed on 8 qualified individuals. The most recent issue was another Jail opening. I am told that an intake supervisor position became vacant. A certain high official at eh Jail was heard making comments about a certain person would be given this position prior to it even being posted and evaluated. What kind of crap is that? Have they not heard about federal laws?? The county needs to take a hard look at there hiring and promotion practices.

Anonymous said...

Cathy Allen is the individual has been calling hunting license owners to verify anterless license zone choices due to requested zones being sold out of tags. She has her hands in everything and if this continues to occur, Northampton County will continue to digress.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "regress." "Digress" makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but if I see one more person misuse "lose" and "loose", I'm afraid that I will lose it.

VOR

Anonymous said...

@2:28PM So you are digressing? lol

Bernie O'Hare said...

The comment at 1:35 is complete disinformation. Cathy Allenm has nothing to do with that office and recveives no reports from them. People in fiscal call people who are seeking licenses in areas that are sold out.

Anonymous said...

Mancini needed to go, but Vic botched the process. Sometimes you need to get rid of people. It's just hard to do in the public sector. Had Kathleen kane fired Frank Fina when she took office things might have turned out better for her.

Anonymous said...

The entire county is going to hell. West Easton is also in for more than it bargained for. More than just dui and domestics down there now. Prison is almost 40 officers short. They are trying to enforce a schedule change and only wanted one person from the union present. The reason for only one union member present was probably too strong arm him by out numbering him 10 to 1. The only good thing they did at the jail was to lock it down on the weekends so that they save about 40 mandates. I expect things to get even worse. No end in sight.

Bernie O'Hare said...

She did.

Anonymous said...

Readers to VOR, take the stick out of your ass. This is a blog, not an English class, ass!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd prefer it to be one that is truthful. That remark about Allen is untrue. Isn't the truth enough?

Anonymous said...

8:44 is right but my dealings with Lorraine show she has learned much in her years with the county. However ducation means nothing when other than HR "bosses" are in control. HR should be independent of Administration, the County Executive and every other department, answering only to the law and what is right. This will never happen. Neither the County Executive or Council are smart or brave enough or to make it happen.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deleted one anonymous personal attack and probably should have deleted others. If folks want to get personal, they need to identify themselves. Otherwise, they are cowards unworthy of belief.

Anonymous said...

Allen is a meddling twit. She thinks she is a reformer when she is only a clueless busy body. Nearly everything she has been involved in turns to shit. But her benefactor Brown defends her as though she were a saint. Just another hallmark of the Clown Administration.

Anonymous said...

4:20 PM stated that the jail is 40 officer short.....the truth is that the officers refuse to negotiate a new schedule because they are overtime hungry and don't want to give that up. What would they say to the Taxpayers?? A 12 hr shift would cut down on the overtime and give them more days off. But, just like most unions they don't want to do anything unless it benefits themselves. They would rather Screw the taxpayers ! I guarantee if the union body voted on the 12 hr. shift it would probably pass. But their union as horrible leadership.

Anonymous said...

10:47 and 4:20 you are spot on, this place has gone from bad to worse there is so much bullshit going on, but that's what you get when they only hire 9 people in a year an a half.Come on J.B.and this administration take your heads out of your ass and hire people, not make the officers do more with less. TYPICAL REPUBLICAN POLITICS!

Anonymous said...

All this union has done is give away stuff since I started working there. Start hiring people and maybe we will negotiate something. 12 hr shifts isn't going to solve anything when we are short close to 40 officers. The only one screwing the tax payers is the administration. You think we like getting mandated 3 days a week? I would rather be home with my family. I'm not totally against 12hr shifts but that doesn't help the underlying problem. The administration doesn't care about its employees. We don't have enough officers to run 12hr shifts. Are they going to start mandating us for 24 hr shifts?

Anonymous said...

hang tough 2549! this administration just doesn't care. I can tell you from personal expierence that this new health care alone is horrible, as I have thousands out of pocket for medical expenses. this alone will eat up any raises you get...and btw, that 6600 max out of pocket is a lie... it ends up being a lot more than that.

Anonymous said...

Build a new jail, and cut staff by 50

Then we will be overstaffed by 10

That is the answer to this mess