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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Tax Deadbeat is NorCo's Interim Administrator

Next to the Executive, the most important position in Northampton County is the Director of Administration. The Director supervises numerous county departments, negotiates union contracts and handles relations with Council and other municipalities. The person who now occupies that position is someone with four tax liens. Her home is in foreclosure, too. Her education consists of a high school diploma. Aside from her 18 months of county experience, she worked in a two-man insurance office in which the other person was the boss.

Cathy Allen was confirmed by Council at their July 21 meeting as Interim Administrator for the next six months. Her salary will be $91,790 per year.

At the time of her confirmation hearing, Allen was facing a foreclosure action of her Bangor home. A records search at the courthouse she will supervise shows the following judgments that were still open at the time of her confirmation:

1) IRS v.Catherine Allen (Klages), 2008-FT-1338, filed 12/22/08, for $51,414.69 in unpaid income taxes (1040) in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

2) IRS v.Catherine Allen (Klages), 2011-FT-3697, filed 4/25/11, for $6,060.33 in unpaid income taxes (1040) in 2007.

3) Pa. Dept of Revenue v. Catherine Allen-Klages, 2015-J-8690, filed 9/23/15, for $1,551.15, in unpaid personal income tax in 2008.

4) Pa. Dept of Revenue v. Catherine Allen-Klages, 2015-J-11366, filed 12/7/15, for $1,857.99, in unpaid personal income tax in 2010.

The only Council member who seemed bothered by her financial history was Hayden Phillips. "Can you shed some light on that and how it came about?" he asked Allen. "In working with my attorney, and we've been working on this for quite a few years, he advised me not to speak about it in public, so I cannot give you an answer at this time," she answered.

Essentially, she took the Fifth.

Other Council members lobbed softballs. "Over the past 2 1/2 years, you have gained a great deal of experience," said Glenn Geissinger, a John Brown ally who can counted on to support. Noting that former Gracedale Administrator D. Freeman spoke on Allen's behalf, he added, "That speaks volumes."

Allen said that her work would be a "reflection of what the Executive wants done."

Seth Vaughn complimented Allen for her work with the unions and reminded everyone that she had been praised by Justus James, something she had never heard him do for anyone else.

"Especially a Republican," added Allen.

When it came to a vote, Allen's appointment was supported by Geissinger, Vaughn, John Cusick, Peg Ferraro and Mat Benol. Hayden Phillips and Matt Dietz voted No. Ken Kraft, who believes that Council should have no say over interim director appointments despite a contrary ruling from Council Solicitor Phil Lauer, voted "present." That is the equivalent of a No.

Council member Bob Werner was absent.

So by a 5 to 2 vote, with one member voting present, Northampton County Council has installed a tax deadbeat in foreclosure to the second highest ranking position in the County, despite a lack of education and minimal experience.

John Brown is running for state auditor general, a position that ensures that public money is being spent appropriately. He apparently sees nothing wrong with hiring a tax deadbeat in foreclosure to the second highest position in a $330 million operation. The five Council members who voted for her have a fiduciary obligation to the public that was very poorly served by this vote.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown deserves to have his choice. You love to attack people you hate and ignore those you like. We have seen some really unqualified people at the courthouse over the years. That includes some of your close buddy's guys from the past Admisntration. Why you must continue to attack this woman is very telling.

You just don't get it, Mr. Brown is the county executive and he can pick the person he wants. County Council did their job. Except for a few.

Anonymous said...

Cream rises to the top, but so can a turd.

Anonymous said...

The turd always compliments the "Brownstain".......

Check the underwear............................

The one is the its all a POS product.

John Brown amazingly writes his opponents material on how he will be beaten and banished back to that cesspit of Bangor Borough.

Anonymous said...

Will it be prorated and she'll make the 91+K from her hire date? She is guarding the hen house and with her past record of taking what she thinks is hers, someone needs to keep an eye on her.

Not a robot said...

How did she rack up such a tax bill to the IRS for unpaid income taxes? I can understand when someone who is a business owner can get one of these liens. If she was simply employee, was her employer withholding taxes as he was supposed to? Was she claiming too many exemptions and then not paying (or filing a tax return) her tax bill?

Anonymous said...

This is pathetic. If I don't pay my taxes, hum, will I get a huge promotion? I think not!

Anonymous said...

So Kraft takes a stand on some kind of principle and Werner can't be bothered to attend and he wants to be Executive? They both disappoint mightily here as our supposed Democrat party representatives. I know..it was a loser but they could have both argued the issue and grilled Allen before losing along with sane Republican's Dietz and Hayden. Lost chance to reach across the aisle. What a fiasco Brown has created.

Anonymous said...

Council members who voted for this disgraceful appointment are whores for John Brown. Allen is a tax cheat with no integrity who now is second in command in county government. Norco was become the laughing stock of the state since Brown and his cronies took over. We cannot wait until he leaves or is tossed out of office.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be no end to Brown's screw ups. Is he so bad that this is the best he could find to run the County. The scariest part is we all know Brown is running around the state trying to get elected so she really is in charge . How sad for Northampton. This has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

Allen is a vindictive snake who doesn't follow the rules. God help Norco employees who have this incompetent boob as their boss.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I thought it took guts and personal integrity for Hayden Phillips to bring up the subject of Allen's financial difficulties, which he said he hated to do but really had to do. When she refused to provide any answer at all, that should have sealed the subject. Council's vote to confirms her was completely irresponsible. Ken Kraft said nothing, although he spoke up for the NIZ the day before. Council members have a fiduciary duty to the public, and they completely failed to act responsibly when they allowed this tax reprobate assume effective control of a $330 million budget. She has already installed some of her pals in different positions.

It smells to me that Kraft must have signaled he was not going to be a strong opponent since they all knew he was going to vote present or pass. He did not say one word contrary to Allen's appointment. Not one. Werner, who wants to be executive, was not even there and was too important to phone in. Geissinger, Benol and Vaughn have often demonstrated that they go along with whatever Brown wants, and this is just another example. A comment told me that Geissinger would vote against her. That is the message he was sending his conservative pals.But as his vote reveals, he can't really be trusted and they know this bc they rejected him as a congressional candidate. Geissinger and his fellow travelers rejected their fiduciary responsibility bc they know Brown might just be elected auditor general, and they want to be in his good graces. Peg Ferraro typically goes along with a cabinet appointment, but I don't know how much more clear it could be that Allen should not be in such a high level position. Don't forget this is the same person who was seeking expenses to which she was not entitled.

The only Council members who displayed any integrity were Phillips and Dietz. I opposed both of them when they ran for office, which shows how sound my judgment is.

Anonymous said...

Kraft has turned out to be a major disappointment... needs to be painted out of the picture.

Anonymous said...

just unbelievable........

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Brown, I've worked fo the county for 30+ years, Can I get a raise. No sorry, you have to much knowledge of how things get done. We only promote those who are dumb asses or should I say, lick by rear end! Get back to work loser.

Anonymous said...

Can she be bonded? I'm not so sure she can be - and that's a general requirement for most borough and township managers and people in executive positions.

I think that should have been discussed and that's a yes or a no answer. If she can't be bonded, she shouldn't have been appointed.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true. Brown can pick who he wants. If it hurts the County, he has to answer on election day. My guess is that they did it to spite Bernie, lol. If so, good for them..

Anonymous said...

it was not something to be vetted by council, she is being installed in this position until Brown finds someone to appoint. Council approves appointments at that time. This is the time to vote yes or no. It is a Republican controlled County Council and the voters are getting exactly what they voted for. Why blame Kraft and Werner for anything, they are in the super minority and have no effect on the 7 voting members of council who ran on the T-party platform? Good luck with your County

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are dead wrong and abrogated your responsibility. You have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayer, and because of a petty pissing match over the HRC, you allowed the Executive to install an unqualified person who can do real damage. This should be opposed at all levels, interim or whatever.

Anonymous said...

She received high praise from some unexpected quarters. I get the feeling she's not as dangerous as your sensational headline implies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The headline is accurate.

Anonymous said...

"High praise" from whom? Brown? That weasel D. Freeman? I don't care how hard she worked to help out with a blown hot water valve. Any decent county employee would do the same. Freeman was buttering his bread by praising Allen. At the time he and his employer Premier were on the bubble. Their future as the county's nursing home administrator relied heavily on Freeman and Premier sucking up to Brown and his band of clowns. If that is the only reference Geissinger relied on to make up his mind about a tax and travel expense cheat then he is even dumber than he acts.

Anonymous said...

If Allen was at Gracedale at 3 AM it was probably because she was lost after last call at Dietzi's.

Anonymous said...

Why should Vaughn, supposedly a conservative who should not favor unions, give a crap about "high praise" about Allen from that blowhard Justus James?

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is Bizzaro! This makes no sense whatsoever. Reality need not enter into the world of county politics. A hundred reasons to not appoint her and what do they do? Twilight zone stuff.

Anonymous said...

no one wants the job in Northampton County, she was the best willing person, kinda sad

Anonymous said...

no one was appointed to anything, yet

Anonymous said...

At $91K, I'd want the job! But it wasn't posted and I only have a BA. Also, I wouldn't kiss John Brown's ass so I guess that makes me under qualified...

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:)5, Then I must have been sleeping last night and dreamed that she was appointed as interim Administrator.

Anonymous said...

Once again this so-called good government team has screwed over people with this vote. This is pure partisan politics over good government. In fairness though, what is with the vote of ,"present"? What the Hell is that all about. You either vote yes or no, what is present?

Very disappointed in our county government representatives. I hope voters especially the complaining county employees, take the next county elections more seriously than they did in the past.

Anonymous said...

Kraft at least explained his non vote stance. It is a valid point but it still makes him look bad. Opting out is not an option. The people who pay the bills deserve an up or down repsonse not an excuse form you Ken. Maybe you need to be replaced with a real representative of the tax payers.

Anonymous said...

Kraft has become a phantom on council. He use to have the chutzpah to challenge Brown and his crooked band of cronies, but no more. He has become wallpaper in council chambers.

Anonymous said...

8:21, then run for the office

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:21 already holds an office, the office of citizen. Ken should remember he works for the citizens, and they have every right to comment on his performance. He really needed to speak out against appointing a tax deadbeat in foreclosure to the second highest office in NC. I personally don't care how he voted on the $5 fee. I see both arguments. But the did something else. He voted NO to a resolution that condemned a recent change in the Fiscal Code allowing a developer inside the NIZ to use hotel tax on top of all the other taxes. The two biggest hotels in Northampton County, Hotel Bethlehem and the sands, are in his Bethlehem district. Tet he is now willing to subsidize their competitors in Allentown. The sole reason for this is bc he is a trades union agent, and is looking at construction jobs. Union support of this measure is short-sighted. They need to look beyond the next pay check to what is good in the long run and this is not. He was the sole member of Council to vote No. He let the citizens of Bethlehem down. He also needs to attend a few committee hearings besides his own. if he's unwilling to give this job the time needed, he should step down and let someone else take over.

Anonymous said...

Kraft has become the Ken Doll of council. Plastic replica of his old self.

Anonymous said...

Ken feels very safe and probably would beat back a primary challenge pretty easily. The Dem. party needs to evaluate their continued support of him if he continues down the path he is on. Union issues are not the only thing he should be concerned about. What about the rest of the party members? What about us Ken? Stop being a one issue councilperson.

Anonymous said...

Once again incompetence at its best! All these jerks got to go. Responsible government my ass!

Anonymous said...

He will have an opponent, Jim Gregory. Bernie hates that fact but it is the story.