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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NorCo Loses Second "Naughty Email" Unemployment Case

Back in September, two NorCo Register of Wills employees were canned. Director of Court Services Archie (Inspector Gadget) D'Isidore conducted a two-year investigation and charged two single mothers with a violation of the County's "electronic resource policy." That's a fancy way of saying they got caught sending naughty emails. Playing hardball, the County denied a union grievance and even refused to pay unemployment. No suspensions. No warnings. Just out the door.

The same County officials who urged County Executive John Stoffa to impose the ultimate sanction on these women, assured him it would hold up, both before the Unemployment Board and in arbitration. The same idiots who got their jollies by snooping through employee emails insisted this was a "slam dunk."

It was. For the fired workers.

Fortunately, both of these single moms hired a lawyer. In fact, they got two for the price of one - the father-and-son team of Colin and Brian Monahan. After a hearing in November, the first of these employees was awarded benefits. And now, after a hearing last week, the second fired employee has been awarded benefits, too.

In both cases, the Attorneys Monahan argued the County is in no position to claim there was any misconduct because it allowed these employees to exchange emails for two years without taking any remedial action. In fact, D'Isidore gave them positive performance evaluations while secretly investigating them.

Jill Mancini tried the case for the County. Resigning Solicitor Karl Longenbach, you might recall, told Council she should be paid $102,900 per year and put in charge of other lawyers. Embarrassed by her first defeat, she came loaded for bear this time. She should have brought toilet paper. Hers was a shitty case. As my father used to tell me whenever he looked at me, you can't shine shit.

Referee Gary Wardecki, who issued both rulings, reasons that "the employer's failure to act shows a willingness to accept the behavior."

So now, because some bureaucrat likes to look through the private emails of two women, County taxpayers will pay them to sit on their asses while they go through union arbitration, where they will certainly win.

Does this make any sense?

John Stoffa has made a career working for the disadvantaged in Northampton and Lehigh County. But this arbitrary and uncharacteristic termination, which follows quickly on the heels of a questionable appointment of a third floor pet to the Register of Wills, is exactly what happens when he loses good cabinet officials like John Conklin and Vic Mazziotti. It's no way for him to end his stewardship of Northampton County.


Anonymous said...

Stoffa has always been a poor judge of character. His cabinet choices were mediocre at best and it is obvious he is at the point of mailing it in.

That is why County Council must not let him make any major moves.Thsi whacky plan to sell buildings and get a new one is crazy. It is a sesperate attempt at a legacy building in his final year. We have to stop these crazy unplanned building games that Executives get caught up in, all in the hopes of having it named after them. He will present the plan on Thursday and council must table it immediately for at least a year.

Anonymous said...

apparently JM,s other assets are more important than her legal skills

Anonymous said...

Karl is another great person that Stoffa has thrown under the bus when convenient.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, Stoffa really threw Karl under the bus. He allowed this guy to get away with supporting an opponent of his chief ally and said nothing when Karl caroused with the very people who were calling for Stoffa's resignation, and continue to do so now. Yeah, he really screwed karl.

Mark Baker said...

there is very little credibility left in the halls of norco. stoffa's legacy is in the toilet

Anonymous said...

"John Stoffa has made a career working for the disadvantaged in Northampton and Lehigh County. But ..."

No. He made a career off tax dollars and compiled pensions. Assigning such lofty motives to career takers is really too much. He earned a degree and did what countless thousands did at the time. He knew government was a feather bed job for life. He succeeded. His approach to taxing and spending is that of someone who's never earned a private dollar. We need new blood.

Anonymous said...

I have never been more disappointed in an individual office holder than I am with John Stoffa. He let the Legal department pick the Registrar of Wills department head. Isn't it wierd that the same person who is now the head of the Registrar's Office was also a hand picked secretary in the Legal Department. Jill Mancinni and Karl both have gotta go and thank God they will be taking that gutless Stoffa with them. Fire Mancinni. She isn't at work half the time anyway.

Anonymous said...

The referee is highly impressed with himself. Tacit approval is not a doctrine.

Rules and laws go unenforced every day. Shall we never prosecute a jaywalker in Nazareth because a donut eater gave Bernie a break one day? Should every speeding ticket be tossed because hundreds of cars speed by the state sleeper until he wakes up and randomly picks someone to pull over. only to "give 'em a break"?

Every single player in this bad movie, county and state, is a shining example of what is wrong with the public sector.

The smell of bacon fills the air...


Bernie O'Hare said...

"Tacit approval is not a doctrine."

Actually it is. This case is a loser.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is already being called by most in the courthouse as the worst executive in the history of the place and the biggest disappointment.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you Glenn Reibman

Anonymous said...

Good for the two wronged secretaries. The Creeper should be fired for ethics violations. He gave them good job performances and was snooping at same time. Sounds like another sweetheart good moral and ethical character Stoffa attracts to county positions.