Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! You're Fired!

I don't know whether Attorney Anthony Martino is a drinking man, but he has good reason to tie one on this New Year's Eve. The Norhampton County Hangmen have strung him up as county council solicitor.

Council member and chief executioner Lamont McClure, in an arrogant letter, has told Martino "it will not be necessary for you to be in attendance at any future Council meetings."

It's no secret McClure detests Judge Zito, Martino's predecessor. Instead of telling McClure what he wanted to hear, Zito had this silly notion of following the law. To make matters worse, the judgeship that eventually went to Zito is something Lamont wanted for his wife. When Zito's name went to the state senate, McClure was the only council member to vote against a resolution urging a quick confirmation.

What does this have to do with Martino? Martino worked in Zito's law firm, and the sins of the partner are visited on his associate. To be honest, Anthony appears to have adopted many of Lenny's bad habits, which include following the law.

Wthout any apparent authority in the form of a county council resolution, McClure has somehow concluded he speaks for all nine members of Council and has fired Martino. And so Northampton County Council ends 2008, keeping its reputation as the Lehigh Valley's worst local government intact for another year.

Here's the text of his Epistle to Anthony.

During my time on Council I have been tasked by President(s) Grube and McHale to be the Chairman of the Legal, Judicial and Operations Committee. From time to time during my tenure on the committee, they have also asked me to perform specific inquires. Recently, I have been asked to take a leadership role in the selection process to fill the vacancy in the position of County Council Solicitor upon Judge Zito's ascension to the bench. Let me first say on behalf of Council that we very much appreciate your time and effort in your role as interim Solicitor. You will recall that when Judge Zito was sworn in that it was decided by President McHale in consultation with Council that it would be best to finish out the year with a measure of continuity. We are now on the doorstep of reorganization. After much debate and consideration, I have recommended to President McHale that we move in a different direction with the appointment of Solicitor to County Council. Unfortunately, and this is by no means a reflection upon your brief service to us, I must inform you that we will not be appointing you Solicitor to County Council. Therefore, it will not be necessary for you to be in attendance at any future Council meetings.

We are mindful that there is currently litigation instituted by the Executive against County Council with respect to the Personnel Policies Manual. We are also aware that you may not wish to continue to represent the Council in a private capacity. However, should you wish to continue to represent the Council in this litigation, please provide us with your firm's hourly rate post haste so that Council may determine what course it wishes to follow. If you choose not to continue representation of Council for this specific and limited purpose, please inform us as soon as practicable.

Again, thank you for your service in filling the post on a temporary basis. We wish you the best of luck with all of your future endeavors. Should you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to call.


Thursday Update: Both The Express Times and Morning Call have weighed in on the solicitor slaughter. McClure notes, "It's time to get some new blood into the solicitor's chair." Since Martino has only been solicitor since mid-October, perhaps McClure would like to change them weekly. Council member Ron Angle notes, "We are not a third world country. Lamont McClure is not a dictator ... ."

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I. Northampton County (including Stoffa and Cabinet) is considered the most most dysfunctional government in the Valley.

2. So what, He is an at-will appointment. When Stoffa wanted to throw out capable people to bring in unqualified hacks, you stated it was his right. Fair enough, same rule applies here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You misss the point. lamont McClure is not the county executive nor does he speak for all nine members of council and has no authority to send the letter he did.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are completely obsessed with Mcclure. The letter seems completely professional and proper. If Martino was the interim after Zito became a judge why should they keep him? Shouldn't they look at the possible lawyers out there? Seems Martino’s credential is that he was Zito’s partner. Since Mcclure is the chair of legal for council who else should handle this? Seems that you criticize Mcclure for not working hard enough and then for working. Maybe he is making room for you to become solicitor.

Anonymous said...

What's arrogant about the letter ? What entitles Martino to the job. He was temporary fill-in until the end of the year. That was clear to everybody including him.

Anonymous said...

Zito was the solicitor. Jumped off the ship back to the court as soon as he could, but he did his level best to keep the $49,000.00 flowing into his partners pockets.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe he did this without other Council input? I am sure he had McHale permission. If you have a problem with that, speak to McHale.

Stop being such a jerk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bullshit. If it was so clear to everyone, then why was the letter even necessary?

In that arrogant letter, which instructs Martino his appearance will not be necessary, McClure presumes to speak for the entire county council. Who died and made him King? He has no apparent or actual authority to speak on behalf of counil. Council adopted no reslution authorizing him to fire Martino. It was not just arrogant, but very likely illegal.

Martino as named as interim solicitor in October at a meeting that McClure failed to attend, and now he presumes to tell martino his services are no longer necessary?

In my view, that letter is a nullity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm being a jerk for complaining about a "decision" that has no basis? Where is the public meeting authorizing McClure to fire Martino? Are you saying 5 members agreed to this? If they did, then there's a Sunshine Act violation.

This is an arrogant abuse of power. Name the five council members who suppor this. McClkure acted beyong the scope of his authority or in violation of the Sunshine Act. Take your pick. It's one or the other.

Anonymous said...

Bernnie, calm down I think a valid point has been made by previous posters. Think about it, this makes sense for this Council.

I would not be surprised if phone calls were made behind the scenes to get support for this.

I am not saying it is right and I think there probably was a violation of
sunshine.

I tend to doubt he did this without at least the Prez of Council knowing.

Anonymous said...

Oh Boonie, relax, its not like McClure forged his client's name to a release accepting sixty bucks to settle a frivolous lawsuit that you filed on his behalf.

Anonymous said...

I just read the letter I would say it was carefully worded and Lamont saved him any embarrassment. I wish Stoffa did that for Marta instead of leaving her out to be humiliated when he knew he didn't have the votes for her. But now I am passing judgement on your beloved Stoffa. Lamont should be commended for his consideration.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:01,

This makes no sense for council. It's completely idiotic. If Martino was only serving until the end of December, as one commenter suggests, then no letter would be needed at all. No, he was selected as interim, not temporary, solicitor. He is there until they find someone else. They have not found someone else. Council has adopted no resolution authorizing anyone to fire martino. McHale, who does have knowledge of this manwuver, has no authority herself to take such an action. She can't delegate a power she does not have to someone else.

One of two things has happened. Either McClure has exceeded his authority as a council memer or five members of council havcve violated the Sunshine Act. In either case, that renders McClure's letter a nullity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa would not engage in back room shenanigans and, during a public meeting, McHale had promised to vote for Ms. Gabriel, only to change her mind after being pressured behind closed doors.

McClure does not speak for council. I know three council members, including Angle, who had no idea about this until late today. This was either a blatant Sunshine Act violation or McCluire exceeded his authority. In either case, his letter is not worth the paper it is written on and has no legal effect.

Anonymous said...

Now I get it this is another attempt to to smear people who you think are planning on running against Stoffa for executive.
Maybe you can try suing them again.
You still have time to turn over a new leaf for 2009, make your resolution: start telling the truth, stop defending Stoffa and attacking anyone who questions him.
Who am I kidding your a juvenille who attacks anyone who disagrees with him. Some day I hope we will find out just what Mr. McClure did to you to deserve your attension.

Anonymous said...

Annon 8:20

“Maybe he is making room for you to become solicitor.”
You must be crazy O’Hare is a self-described drunk who has been disbarred because of illegally screwing one of his clients. If it wasn’t for his fathers connections O’Hare would probably be in Jail. Another reason he is an embarrassment to the County. O’Hare you keep talking about what is legal you are a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Annon 8:20

“Maybe he is making room for you to become solicitor.”
You must be crazy O’Hare is a self-described drunk who has been disbarred because of illegally screwing one of his clients. If it wasn’t for his fathers connections O’Hare would probably be in Jail. Another reason he is an embarrassment to the County. O’Hare you keep talking about what is legal you are a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Annon 8:20

“Maybe he is making room for you to become solicitor.”
You must be crazy O’Hare is a self-described drunk who has been disbarred because of illegally screwing one of his clients. If it wasn’t for his fathers connections O’Hare would probably be in Jail. Another reason he is an embarrassment to the County. O’Hare you keep talking about what is legal you are a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Don't be mad at Boonie. He hates McClure and wants Zito's partner to keep the 49K - that's all.

Sanctifying Grace said...

Anon 9:53 PM,

Why do you have to go so low? The ebb and flow were going along fine. Why must you disturb everything? Don't you have anything better or productive to do with you life?

Please go and do something good and meaningful with your time, instead of bothering people. Move on and grow up. Put a new foot forward for this new year.

Peace be upon you, ~~Alex J.

Bernie,

If this is true, this alledged firing; what goes around, comes around. The same people you see on your way up, will be the same people you see on your way down. May the sun shine on every dog for at least one moment!

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. When Zito got the job, Grube just appointed him. No vote no nothing. Now that they are going to out the 40 thousand bucks they are calling process process

Bernie O'Hare said...

To the Anons.

It's amazing that when I criticize a council member for his official actions or inactions, the anonymous ad hominem attacks begin. They've been made so often that it's kind of silly. They just diminish you and your argument. I could be the biggest sleazeball in the world and it doesn't change what has happened. It is either a Sunshine Act violation or an abuse of power without council sanction.

If a person of my disreputable character can notice this, what does that say about you?

Zito was not just appointed by Grube. Council votes on its solicitor during reorganization, just as it votes for President and VP. Council conducted a vote to accept Zito's resignation. Council conducted another vote in October to effect Martino's appointment. No single member of council can undo what the entire body voted for. That's the way a democracy works, even in the People's Republic of Northampton County.

To reverse an action of county council, an act of equal dignmity is required. Martino was appointed by resolution of the bidy, and can only be replaced by a similar resolution. McClure has no authority to give Martino his walking papers. Neither, for that matter, does McHale.

Now if you want to secede from the US and start some new form of dictatorship where McClure can act in derogation of the entire body, you can declare civil war. But until that happens, you are stuck.

Your solicitor can tell you this.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
"I could be the biggest sleazeball in the world....".
Guess what O'Hair, you are the biggest sleazeball in the world.

Bernie O'Hare said...

But that doesn't change anything or answer my arguments. It just makes you look like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Years, Bernie

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with those who say this letter would not have been sent w/o McHale's approval.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you are lying. There was no vote on Zito.

Fly on the Wall said...

Lamont McClure is Chairman of the County Council’s Legal, Judicial & Operations Committee and is well within his right to make the call! I think your opposed to the change is because your buddy Ron Angle is opposed to it. Sometimes you two appear to be talking out of the same A..hole!

Anonymous said...

These inner-party, Politburo-type squabbles are absurd. Watching the latest brawl over who stays in, or is thrown out of the incestuous pool of NC politics is becoming boring.

At least it keeps this herd of assholes too busy to do taxpayers too much harm. When democracy provides gridlock in times of governmental dysfunction, we are being better served than we often realize.

Keep fighting you pathetic stooges. You've proven incapable of handling important tasks and our system is mercifully protecting us from the likes of you.

Anonymous said...

Was this voted on in a public meeting? Frankly I do not care who the Council approints so long as it is done publicly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fly,

Tell me where the HRC gives Lamont McClure the authority to unilaterally fire ar appoint a council solicitor. Tell me where the HRC ghives even the council prez the authority to unilaterally fire or appoint a solicitor. It does not.

This action is either (1) an abuse of power by a minority of council members, or (2) a Sunshine Act violation.

Anonymous said...

More Boonie lying. Dowd appointed Monaghan County Solicitor before Grube appointed Zito. This is all about wanting the 50K to stay in Zito's law firm. And Boonie, who hate McClure is happy to oblige.

Fly on the Wall said...

Which is it? Or are you just blowing smoke again! I must give the man credit for having “Balls” to make a decision! Plus, to hang the man for his decision without allowing him to give a public explanation for his actions at the next full council meeting is a little maniacal on your part!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't care who is named county council soliticor. I only care that the person named is named properly.

Martino was appointed county council solicitor by resolution of ALL sitting council members. That decision cannot be reversed by McClure or McHale opr both of them acting in concert. Unless McClirte is speaking on behalf of five couincil members, his letter is withjout authority.

If McClure is speaking on behaldf of five council members, they've violated the Sunshine Act bc there's been no decision, at a public meeting, to replace martino.

McClure has "balls" to act illegally? So did Hitler. So did Nixon. We are a nation of laws, even in The People's Republic of Noprthampton County.

If Dowd appointed a solicitor, it was only bc a majority of council members authorized it. There is little doubt in my mind that it was a Sunshine Act biolation, but at leasdt her was not violating the law to fire someone.

This stinks. The only ones who can defend this are themselves rank partisans who are willing to violate the law and democratic principles to get what they want. We don't need these kinds of people in government.

Anonymous said...

“Bernie O'Hare said…
To the Anons.

It's amazing that when I criticize a council member for his official actions or inactions, the anonymous ad hominem attacks begin.”

Your claims of ad hominem attacks are laughable at best I would characterize them as “ad hominem circumstantial” as you are insanely biased in this and many other matters regarding Northampton County. One must consider the source of such allegations and owing to your predisposition of seeing fault with Mr. McClure and unconditional support for Messrs Stoffa and Angle it is resonable for supporters of McClure et al to engage in ad hominem circumstantial arguments against you and your claims.
David

Anonymous said...

David, Boonie doesn't care about anything other than what Angle wants. And Angle's boy is Anthony Martino. Ah, sometimes the company you keep . . .

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wrong, this has nothing to do with Anthony Martino, who I've never had the pleasure to meet. It has everything to do with following the law. You excuse this because you are a partisan and the ends justifies the means in your book.

Anonymous said...

On the MCall.com it says the next solicitor is going to be Joe Long's lawyer Larry Otter. The plot thickens but I guess if you want to run on Long's ballot you've got to give him something.
It might be time for Angle to stop pretending to resign and just do it now.

Anonymous said...

Larry Otter is a Bucks County guy. Now appointing him County Council Solicitor would be arrogant. But if they are trying to make Long happy they just might do it !

Anonymous said...

Bullshit Larry Otter my ass there is no way this can be true, you guys are trying to find a way to make the Democrats look like a bunch of hacks. Congratulation Bern looks like you got others to drink your koolaid.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I've learned who McClure has in mind to replace Martino, and will post about that tomorrow. It has nothing to do with "new blood" and everything to do with "pay to play."

Anonymous said...

BOH: When you're right, you're right. (And I think you're right only a small part of the time.) This is clearly either an abuse of power or a violation of Sunshine Law and anything resembling a democracy.
This council is a cesspool.
And the snipers who either rationalize this poisonous behavior or who simply launch personal attacks are getting the government they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder why Mrs. Grube quit council? This is possibly the worst group of civic representatives in the state. The New Year is starting without NC Council resolving to serve the people, not their own egos. If the average citizen had the time or interest to be fully aware of just how pathetic their county council is, most of them would be recalled.

Anonymous said...

You haven't learned anything. It is going to be Larry Otter. Joe Long wants Larry and McHale, Dertinger and Neiper are all looking for his election year help, and McClure will do Long's bidding because if it wasn't for Long he wouldn't be there.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I think this is the work of one of Bernnies love bunnies, Morganneli. He stacked the Judges with his people now he will become a Judge and control that part of Governemnt.
He has McClure in his pocket and will make sure a Morganneli pick will be the new Council Solicitor.
He has already started to make his move for his pick for the new County Executive.

With Severson at his side His takeover will be complete.

But he is a great guy dispite all this because he will talk to O'Hare in the cafeteria. O'Hare logic.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Morganelli cares a bit about who the Council Solicitor is or is not. I do know Joe Long cares and that is why you will see in short order that McClure's initial recommendation will not be his final one. He comes Larry Otter.

Anonymous said...

Morganelli is the Napolean of Northampton County. Please, McClure doesn't break wind without his permission.
The Solicitor is a plum lawyer job and it will go to a Morganelli pick.

Anonymous said...

Scratch- and impact-resistant Carbonicâ„¢ lenses use Tapered Lens Technology from Smithâ„¢ to provide distortion-free vision.
[url=http://www.tiffanyjeweluk.com]http://www.tiffanyjeweluk.com[/url]