According to Northampton County Council Prez Ron Angle, those are the words Court Administrator James Onembo used when discussing Senior Judge Franciosa's confusing missive filed late yesterday afternoon. If Angle refuses to give up his school board seat by Monday, Franciosa has decided to let him keep his Council seat, but he won't be able to participate in any way. So effectively, if Angle refuses to step down, Judge Franciosa has left the Slate Belt without any representation on Council, disenfranchising 1/4th of the County.
This was the most ridiculous argument DA John Morganelli advanced during Wednesday's stay hearing, but it's the one Franciosa bought.
What's even more amazing is that County Council - which never was even a party to these proceedings - is somehow barred from appointing someone to fill the void left by Angle. In addition to thumbing their noses at Slate Belt voters, Franciosa and Morganelli have completely gutted Home Rule Charter provisions concerning Council vacancies, destroying the very document they claim to be protecting.
Franciosa takes "judicial notice" that Council has previously gone for extended periods with a vacant slot, but no vacancy has ever lasted longer than thirty days.
People of good will can certainly have different views about the dual office prohibition in the County's Home Rule Charter. But Franciosa's over-reaching Order, which attempts to bind someone not a party to the proceedings, smacks of bias. Morganelli's antics, in which the dual office prohibition is ignored for Democrats while enforced against a Republican, demonstrates his bad faith. Finally, Onembo's snide comment to Angle pollutes the entire bench.
An angry Ron Angle told Express Times reporter Doug Brill, "It's pretty evident Judge Franciosa is senile, and it's pretty evident (President) Judge (F.P. Kimberly) McFadden is looking the other way because she knows it."
Incidentally, Angle is due in Court today on an unrelated matter. His judge? Franciosa.
I'm sure he'll get a fair shake now.