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Friday, September 19, 2014

NorCo Council Rejects Increased Contract Oversight

Brown and cabinet members sit at prosecutor's table
A divided Northampton County Council last night rejected an Ordinance that would dramatically increase their oversight over contracts. Currently, they must approve contracts in excess of $100,000, but Lamont McClure wanted it reduced to just $10,000.

This proposal failed along party lines after council members traded barbs.

Lamont McClure accused the administration of already wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars on contracts like one for Integrity personnel, which was paid $24,000 to help Executive John Brown find a cabinet. He noted it took Brown seven months. "What kind of public value was there to that?" he asked.

What rankled Republicans was McClure's additional accusation that they are all "complicit in allowing public money to be used for political work." As public relations consultant Kim Plyler shook her head, McClure read an excerpt from an email to Brown, in which she referred to someone as heavily involved in the GOP. A few other emails indicate that Plyler took notes for a fundraiser and met with Brown in his County office to discuss the matter.

Brown previously has strongly denied any impropriety.

McClure insisted Council needs to do more than simply alert authorities. "It should be us who takes care of this," he argued.

Republicans were appalled. "We have a good deal of witch hunting going on right now," remarked Seth Vaughn. Glenn Geissinger was more direct. Addressing McClure, he said, "As an attorney, I find it appalling that you would accuse a man without the proper foundation."

Knowing this was a loser, Werner proposed an amendment allowing to allow the Executive to have authority over contracts under $25,000. That failed in a 5-4 vote, along party lines. Then Ken Kraft suggested a $50,000 amendment, which met the same fate.


Anonymous said...

I think the 100k cap was certainly micromanaging.

That being said, the documentary evidence indicates that Brown IS using public resoucres to further his political life.

Didn't a whole bunch of state representatives just go to jail for this?

This should be hugely troubling to everyone.

Anonymous said...

JB has his sights set on a much higher office than county executive. You need rich friends to go where he wants to go. Stahl is a political spin machine in disquise. Tough to prove the accusation though.

Anonymous said...

Brown has reached his highest level of incompetence. His only future political ambitions should be a seat on Bangor council. And he probably wouldn't even win that.

Anonymous said...

Ken Kraft wasted everyone's time. He can't count past ten without dropping his drawers. And he wants to take over big boy money matters? McClueless has been wrong about the reserve fund for several years. Barron is a documented time thief who simply can't be trusted because he's demonstrably dishonest with taxpayer money. These clowns shouldn't be left anywhere near money. Please.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"That being said, the documentary evidence indicates that Brown IS using public resoucres to further his political life.

Didn't a whole bunch of state representatives just go to jail for this?

This should be hugely troubling to everyone. "

There are agencies that look into these kinds of allegations. It is inappropriate for Lamont McClure, who has a political agenda, to pursue a quasi criminal investigation. As I said before, refer this matter to the DA and let him make the call. Rhat's his job, and he does not shy away from these kinds of cases if they have any merit.

There are two or three troubling emails. Rather than being criminal, that just might be a rookie error by someone who was only in office a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

There are no rookie errors. If Brown used email and other county resources including time for policital gain he needs to be investigated and charged appropriately.

Where is the DA on this matter? Have heard nothing from him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That should tell you something. The DA is a Democrat. He is the godfather to Lamont McClure's son. Lamont McClure's wife works fror the DA. Yet he has waved no sword or said anything about this matter. I think that's likely bc there's no there, there.

John Brown occupies the highest office in Northampton County. I believe he has made numerous mistakes, but would have to see more than those few troubling emails before concluding that he lacks personal integrity or is abusing his office criminally. He has strongly denied any impropriety, and should not be required to discuss the same accusations every two weeks. As Scott Parson himself has stated, it's time to move on. Seth Vaughn correctly calls this a witch hunt. If he has done anything inappropriate, I am sure Morganelli will hold him accountable. But that's his call, not mine or McClure's.

This is McClure's fatal flaw and why even those who vote for him don't much like him. He makes some very good points. But because he is so partisan, he over-reaches.

Anonymous said...

10:56 you would be much funnier if you signed your name when you call people dishonest and a thief.

Anonymous said...

Again.. this is precisely what you get when IDIOTS and IGNORANTS are elected to these jobs. Desension and chaos erupts. There is no need, again no need for more austerity. All this is.. is people in positions that they are truly not qualified to be in. They are people not happy with their own personal lives so they run and get elected to screw with others. The NORCO workers are gems and are NOT living high off the hog. Their jobs are technical and require years and years of training and experience to perfect. Brown is lost and has no clue. What has he EVER run that equates to the business of Northampton County??? The County Executive should be a seasoned educated person with years of equivalent experience, same with Council. It is frankly bullshit that these people can screw with the County like they do!

Anonymous said...

I agree with there may not be nothing here but we don't know that as fact. At the very least the DA should have made a public statement to say what his conclusions are. No statement seems that he has done nothing. He has time to weigh in on state and national issues but not about the county executive. Either way I agree to is time to move on. But first lets hear from the DA.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd agree Barron has perverted that office, which used to be impartial. There is far more evidence of poor behavior by him. I hope Ron or someone retires him, so he can devote more time to teaching. I question how he could be hired as s teacher, too.

Anonymous said...

It's time to set out the bear traps on John Brown. He has no business being where he is. He is a bully, a thug, a liar, manipulator, oh yeah,....and a criminal! I think it's time to call in the Dept. of Justice. Take him down hard. No white collar Federal prison, no federal country club! Hard time for a "Hard Ass". He can't keep taking from the deserving poor!