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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, March 08, 2013

Morganelli Mandamus A Result of McClure's Inaction

Does the Elections Registrar work for the Executive, as the Home Rule Charter Says, or for the Elections Commission, as stated in the Election Code? When the Elections Commission is hand-picked by party bosses, as stated in the Home Rule Charter, doesn't that unconstitutionally deny participation by independents and third party bosses. Do we really need a Director of Court Services, who reports to the Executive, when we have a Court Administrator, who reports to the courts? Should the judges have a say in the selection of row officers? If the offices of District Attorney, Controller and Judge are  independent, why must their budgets be approved by County Council every year? These questions, and many more, provide a breeding ground for litigation and turf wars. The latest is DA John Morganelli's lawsuit against Executive John Stoffa for blocking four promotions in his office.

It's a rare mandamus action. Courts are very loathe to interfere in these kinds of disputes, and it appears to me that it might be a bit premature. Stoffa has already told The Morning Call that all Morganelli need do is get County Council to sign off on his promotions. But Morganelli has a right to run his office the way he sees fit.

Some will point their fingers at Stoffa, while others will slam Morganelli. In reality, it is neither's fault. All of this could have been avoided if Lamont McClure's Legal and Judicial Committee was conducting meetings the way it should have been doing over the past three years. Council has been well aware of these and other questions raised by our Home Rule Charter form of government. Yet for the last three years, Chairman Lamont McClure has failed to conduct a single meeting. He has failed to schedule a meeting this year, even though Council forwarded a question for his committee's review in early January.

McClure's combined attendance at committee and Council meetings was an abysmal 41% in 2011, and an equally disgusting 47% in 2012. Despite drawing the wrath of Morning Call "terrorist columnist" and "Fabian Socialist" Bill White, McClure has thumbed his nose at the very people who elected him.

What's especially disturbing about the Morganelli lawsuit is that the DA has been a regular contributor to McClure, and McClure's wife works for the DA. Had McClure undertaken a review of the Home Rule Charter, Morganelli's lawsuit would probably be unnecessary.

McClure has told Bill White that he's a lawyer and can't get away during the day, but Scott Parsons finds a way to get away from his day job to attend meetings. And as Chair, he could schedule evening meetings if he wanted. It's hard to escape the conclusion that McClure is just lazy.

With this kind of work ethic, which has just resulted in a lawsuit that nobody really wins, is it really a good idea to elect McClure as County Exec?

Updated 11:20 PM : Morganelli's Complaint!


Anonymous said...

Short answer, YES!

He wouold be better than what we have had for seven years. In fairness a corncob would be better than John Stoffa.

By the way, everyone has been waiting to see how you would spin the latest Stoffa screwup. You have exceeeded even your biggest critics expectations with this piece.

Well done Sir!, Well done, indeed!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, there will be those who blame John Stoffa. Not so incredibly, a Lamont Lackey is incapable of looking at how his own candidate's failure to work is what has resulted in government by litigation.

Anonymous said...

The Stoffa Administation is like running on one of those Stoffa saved farms and hitting all the cow paddies you can.

Anonymous said...

Answer is no.

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than troughfeeders pissing away public dollars over bullshit like this.

But, that is what they do.

Some may blame Stoffa? Others may blame Morganelli? You blame McClure?

Blame them all, and blame the people for staring blankly, with their genitals in their hands, as this crap, every single day, goes on, and on and on...

The pewling spawn, how I despise them.


Anonymous said...

The same cast of shitheads have been running the county for years. This is a family feud between a mathematically challenged lifetime trough slopper and a frustrated grandstanding political hack who can't stand his job and would give his eye teeth to get the hell out of it. And you blame McNoShow. It's a circle jerk of idiots pointing their puny weapons at each other. It should be a comic book.

Anonymous said...

Bernie... all three rumored executive candidates for the democrats bring something different to the field and I like that. I'm still undecided, but anyone is better than what we have currently.

This post though is BS.

McClure's Legal and Judicial meeting would not have prevented this suit. See that committee could have made a pronouncement on this or any of the issues you have mentioned, but the interpretation of the Home Rule Charter is left to the courts. It is the basics of checks and balances in government.

The charter is clear that the controller and DA have the discretion over their office. I'm sure that bugs Stoffa because he can't exercise his power over Barron and Stoffa like his does to employees that step out of line with him. (remember he fired two people in Orphan's Court for no reason... isn't one back working for the county).

This idea from John Morganelli is cost neutral, it shifts the duties in the office to prosecute crime more efficiently and (as you say) who would know better since DA Morganelli is very hands on with his office.

John Stoffa and his cronies bully people and John Morganelli is not going to let him. Good for him.

You can't blame anyone, but Stoffa for this.

Hell I'd bet if Lamont's legal and judicial committee met on this or any issue it would be fodder for your blog better than that BS you spew about his committee attendance.

I mean imagine if Lamont dedicated a committee meeting to who the elections office really reports to.

The Home Rule Charter clearly says it is the Election Commission. A bi-partisan group broken out based on voter registration as to which party has more members. This is probably the outcome of a committee meeting as it is clearly stated in the charter.

You and Stoffa would blast McClure and the committee. Especially, since Stoffa believes and acts like the elections office is answerable only to him.

This post shows you bias Bernie and really is a stretch of your hatred. I don't mind the hate so much, but please be reasonable about it.

Anonymous said...

"if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass when it hopped"

Bernie O'Hare said...

8;42, aka Lamont, What a pile of complete and utter bullshit! While it is the courts' role to interpret ambiguities in the HRC, many of them would not exist if Lazy Lamont were doing his job.

Many of these problems are known, and are going to end up in a judge's lap bc McClure is too lazy to come in one afternoon or evening every few months and apply himself.

And McClure should not meet bc I might blast him? Well, then he shouldnt go to Council meetings either, and they should all meet in secret bc I might say something.

Do you know just how nutty you sound?

It's true I don't like McClure, but this is why. He is lazy, and then tries to spin his own shortcomings on others.

HOKIE jOE said...

Since the Home Rule Charter gives County Council the "POWER" to establish in accordance with the Charter the salaries and wages of all ellected officials, officers, and employees and to set the number of officers and employees.....It seems to make sense that County Council should have been given notice of Mr. Morganelli's request....not Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

Why does Morganelli want to do this behind closed doors ? Doesn`t the public have the right to know how their money is being spent ? What about numerous other employees who deserve raises ? Thought we had a budget ? Oops guess not.

Anonymous said...

Bernie how many other county executives got sued by a D A?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Can't think of a prior instance in which this has occurred. But there is always tension between DAs, courts and county administrators. There are several instances in which litigation has been necessary in other counties. I think that's a good thing.

In this case, I think the litigation could have been avoided if McClure's Legal and Judicial Committee was doing its job and reviewing the Home Rule Charter. This is what happens when Council members choose grandstanding over the spadework of committee meetings.

Anonymous said...

McClure has nothing to do with this turf war. By Morganellis logic his entire staff are not subject to county policies or regulations. Give his ADAs a dollar a mile travel expenses and$200 a day meal allowance. Forget about the career service merit system! Just hire and fir people at will for no just cause. You want complete autonomy JM so just make up your own rules! Create new positions. Eliminate the DUI program and give everyone in your office a 10K raise! As long as you are within your budget who should care how you you spend your money? Oh, oopsy it is the taxpayers money and they elected 10 people to make sure that 1 other elected official doesn't abuse the HRC and spend taxpayers money at will for your own pet projects or staff favorites. Silly us as taxpayers to complain about it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although I think you correctly note the flaw in Morganelli's logic, you inaccurately attempt to keep this away from McClure. He may have nothing to do with the immediate issue, but that's only bc his legal and judicial committee has failed to meet for 3 years to consider the many questions raised by the HRC. Contrary to what he would have you believe, those committees do matter.

Anonymous said...

This is one example were the same guy has been in the same ruling role for over twenrty yewra. That creates empires and Napolean style rule.

Time to leave Mr. DA.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, do you if the L&J committee was EVER active under any council? Seems like it should be abolished if it is so meaningless.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The legal and judicial committee played a rather active role in county affairs when Corrier was on Council, and did review possible changes to the Home Role Charter. It is by no means meaningless.

You are trying to come up with a defense for McClure's laziness and unwillingness to do the job he was elected to perform.

Council should really remove McClure as Chair of that Committee so he can spend more time playing politics and practicing asbestos law.

Anonymous said...

Lamont was probably selected to chair the committee purely by virtue of his status as a barrister. What is the committees function? It seems to be a throw away committee with no relevancy. So stop blaming Lamont for not taking a useless committee very seriously.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It has only become useless bc McClure is it Chair. That Committee was quite active under Corriere, and regularly dealt with issues in which the DA and judges intersect with other aspects of the county. Had his committee been meeting, it is highly unlikely we would have this lawsuit. We never did when it did meet regularly.

McClure has refused to meet in over three year. As Chair, he could set up an evening meeting if he wanted.

I agree that he was likely appointed Chair bc he is a lawyer. But he has yet to put his education to work.

If he thinks the Committee is useless, he should resign as Chair and ask Cusick to appoint someone else.

Clinton Oxford said...

@ "the interpretation of the Home Rule Charter is left to the courts. It is the basics of checks and balances in government.
The Home Rule Charter clearly says it is the Election Commission. A bi-partisan group broken out based on voter registration as to which party has more members.
Especially, since Stoffa believes and acts like the elections office is answerable only to him. 8:42 am"

If Mr. Stoffa is the Executive, & council answer's to him, isn't he in charge? Not to mention that a 2 party system disenfranchise's voters to poor to afford Identification & gives the Controling Party unjust influence in how voting-for-FEDERAL OFFICER'S is undertaken. Simply put....Discriminatory Policies have the ability to influence National Election's for (Party) Political Gain, unjustly. The Federal Government should control a Uniformly Unified Modality System for the effective admin. of election's & justice!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Clinton is "special", in his own way.