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Friday, December 12, 2014

NorCo Council Keen on Keen

NorCo's New Director of Corrections, Dan Keen
Franklin County Warden Daniel Keen is now Northampton County's Director of Corrections. He was confirmed by County Council last night during their last meeting of the year. The vote went along party lines. Republicans Mat Benol, Peg Ferraro, Glenn Geissinger, Hayden Phillips and Seth Vaughn supported the nomination. Democrats Lamont McClure, Scott Parsons and Bob Werner were opposed. Council's fourth Democrat, Ken Kraft, was delayed by a business trip in bad weather.

Keen has overseen a 474-bed facility at the Franklin County jail, located in Chambersburg, for the past three years. He began as a corrections officer in Clinton County in 2000. Since then, he's been at five different prison facilities, including a 1 1/2 year stint with the state, doing inspections of county jails. A Lock Haven high school graduate, he lacks a college degree. In a nervous and sometimes halting voice, Keen explained that he lost his football scholarship at Edinboro University when he was injured after completing nearly four years. But he has now resumed his studies and expects to graduate with a B.S. in criminal justice in the Spring of next year.

Keen comes highly recommended by the wardens at Clinton, Cambria and Pike Counties. According to Executive Brown, the nominee had been vetted by the Sheriff and the Courts, too. But he only gave Council four days to make a decision. Keen's name was submitted to council on Monday, with a request for a vote on Thursday.

This bothered both Phillips and McClure. Phillips threatened that, in the future, he will vote No as a protest vote to nominations that do not first go through Ken Kraft's Personnel Committee. McClure asked that the matter be tabled until the first meeting next year. "This is such an important job,"McClure reasoned, adding that Council should have "a little bit more than two days to vet the nominee, especially bringing the nominee in at such a high salary."

Along party lines, the table motion failed 5 to 3.

Scott Parsons was bothered by the starting salary of $100,237. "[W]e didn't give any raises to anybody", he observed, He added this sum is much higher than the $87,300 starting salary when recently retired Corrections Director Arnie Matos was hired in 2012. Bob Werner added, "We are reducing people's salaries here, we're reducing things throughout the County, and then we're giving someone maybe a 15-20% margin."

Executive Brown defended the higher salary.  "I think he will demonstrate his worth in a very short period of time," he assured Council.."Our job was to find the best candidate that we could that is willing to take the helm of probably one of the most difficult institutions the County has to operate ..." He twice referred to the $13,000 difference in salaries as "a few dollars."  he said Keen would "help restore our prison system. We are looking at it. We are looking at the administration."

Hayden Phillips is willing to pay the "few dollars" referred to by Brown, stating he has "high hopes." Peg Ferraro added, "We have hopes, too, of some major restructuring."

Parsons moved to reduce the starting salary to $87,300, but that failed in a 5-3 vote along party lines as well.

After being rebuffed in a motion to table as well as to reduce the salary, Democrats voted against Keen's hire

Blogger's Note: Updated from story published 12/11/14 @ 6:05 pm

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprise here. We'll see what he does at the jail. I expect mass retirements and major changes in how the money is spent over behind the walls. Red Alert!

Anonymous said...

finally change you can believe in

Anonymous said...

Within the past two years there has already been much experience that has left the jail due to retirement, and more to come within the next few months. And the only reason is months is HR is at a backlog with people leaving throughout the county. So for those that enjoy saying try to make it better in the private sector there will be and are positions open. Oh that's right there is a hiring freeze. By the way I did retire with my experience I am working in the private sector making double of what I made with the county, as a consultant telling others how to do the job I was doing. Strange world isn't it.

Anonymous said...

No surprise they are all DIRTBALLS

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Bernie, @ALERT@ OT,OT,OT-OMG. Sorry but if you have not seen WEF you need to check it out.

The latest letter from Spartacus Maximus is all about you. You are the face of evil. It is a great letter. You must also read the missive by one TM. It is about how it would appear the Mediterranean manmeat's attorney dies and he may end up serving the full 30 months.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, that is OT and old news. You forgot to mention that Gregory entrusted his parrot to Mezzacappa. Though they live at least 70 years, this one died after two months of Mezzacappa. You also forgot to mention that Mezzacappa is now trying to portray herself as a voice of wisdom when in fact she was encouraging him and calling judges names.

The long and short of it is they're both nuts, and let's stick to the topic.

Anonymous said...

Fiscal conservatives for yes to a $100k plus per year position on a job-hopper. Fiscal Conservatives stealing mileage, and giving away cars. Fiscal conservatives raising your taxes instead of considering whacking the salary down for this position. Nothing to see here, move along.

Once again, this is what you get when you say Governemnt should be run like a business.

MegaBakerdude said...
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Anonymous said...

I try to stay open-minded and judge each politician according to his/her words and actions, but when ALL the Republicans in the room vote to approve this guy while acknowledging that they weren't allowed enough time to properly vet him, especially in light of the fact that Brown and Allen had him in mind for at least 2 months, well, let's just say it's difficult. And that salary is just a slap in the face to employees who are being made to take on more of the work for less of the pay. Not to mention the whole reimbursement scandel...

I gotta say, Brown & Allen are some Bush & Cheney imposters. When all is said and done, Northampton County will be left in debt and despair, while they and their friends get rich in the process. And it seems Council is giving them the go ahead...smh.

Anonymous said...

"entrusted his parrot"

this parrot is dead...

Anonymous said...

Let them eat cake! Are we as a workforce ready to revolt? When did you see a pay raise? You will now see less due to health care! What happened to protests at council meetings? All the unions and nonunion workers should get together and do something. We need to stop being sheep!

Anonymous said...

Its a slap in the face to every employee who was told they would not get a raise this year. To give someone a 15% jump above the starting pay for this position is a joke. Mr Brown should be ashamed by his actions. Those who are on County council who voted to keep the pay at a higher rate should also be embarrassed. They are Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

this is certainly the bi-polar administration... cuts for the masses while open-up-the-checkbook council for the elite.

Anonymous said...

do you understand what group you fall into now?

Stacy Soldo said...

Disgusting..everyone should take a pay cut, no raise, increase healthcare costs and then council approves to give the director of corrections a 15% pay increase???? And the administration wonders why the county employees & unions are fighting him every step of the way. If it's anyone that's a leech..it is certainly them

Anonymous said...

The rich get richer..the poor get poorer. Makes sense in Washington,DC..makes sense here! This is what the voters want. If you don't like it..you got to mobilize and vote these nutballs out of office. Get off your butts and vote!

Anonymous said...

employees got to realize that most of council is not their friend either... just brown's mickey mouse fan club.

Anonymous said...

You would think the unions would be outraged! Where are they? I hear silence. Wake up before it is too late to take any action. The public needs to hear your side of this thing. Demand action from your workplace representatives. Come together for the sake of all the real workers.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It will take State level intervention to change the course of events here in NH county. A job action is needed. If not now..when? Enough damage has been inflicted on the workers. PUSH BACK!

Anonymous said...

wait until Jan.1 with all the insurance changes.... then you will hear the complaining from the employees who didn't show...

Anonymous said...

if maybe 1000 employees showed, maybe it would have had an effect on brown... not with 100-200.

Anonymous said...

You got to fight fire with fire here. These jerks will run you and your family over and never look back to see the damage they have done. Heartless bastards!

Anonymous said...

Hypocrite. Coward. Joke.

Anonymous said...

He looks gay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So what? That's not particularly relevant. By the way, your conception of gayness puzzles me. This guy is about 8' tall, weights a ton, and when he patted the podium, I thought he would break it. He looks like an NFL offensive lineman. I'm sure there are gay NFL offensive linemen, but it's not what one thinks.

Anonymous said...

It was reported that Brown said he is worth the money because he has the right attitude. He will do the job. Mmmm... I am sure his job is to come in and cut costs. He will no regard for inmates or officers, just the bottom line. He will be just like the rest of the over paid admin. Yes sir Mr Brown we can do that. Great idea Mr. Brown Ill get on it. Hope you officers have each others backs cause I am sure this guy wont care if you or the inmates are safe.

Anonymous said...

7:35..You nailed it pretty much. Mandate to shoot on sight and take no prisoners in the search for hidden dollars. And the inmates thought things were bad before..wait til you see how things are in about 3 months. Get out of the jail asap and stay out. Safety? The officers are already at risk. Recipe for disaster coming in the front gate.

Peter J.Cochran said...

IT's not bad at NCP - TRY a Marine Corps Red Line Brig --that is bad. Shoe shin inspections at 02;00 am ,how about defecating in a coffee can in your cell and bread and water.Sleep on stainless steal rack with a sheet in your underwear,no pillow. Screw you guys, you haven't lived that! NO-BODY WANTS TO RETURN here almost no repeat business. your prison is too soft.