About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, January 23, 2017

NorCo Blocks Barron's Access To Financial Data

Barron was at Lamont McClure's side when
he announced for Exec on Thursday. 
NorCo Controller Steve Barron's access to financial data has been cut off by the Brown administration. Barron is the county official who confirmed that Sara Packer, the ex-adoption supervisor accused of murdering her own adopted daughter was a NorCo employee. At a time when the rest of the county was stonewalling or providing misleading information to reporters, Barron told the truth. And now he appears to be paying the price.

A letter from HR Director Amy Trapp dated Thursday but not delivered until Friday accuses Barron of "intentionally" disclosing the social security number of a county employee to the press.

Though Barron denies deliberately furnishing a social security numbers to anyone, a WFMZ-TV video of Barron at his computer, published on January 10, did reveal reveal Packer's social security number for under a second. There was nothing to identify that number as Packer's social security number or even as a social security number. When Barron became aware of this unintentional disclosure on Friday, he contacted WFMZ-TV69, and the station immediately removed the video.

Brown or Trapp, if they really cared about the privacy of county employees, could and should have done this themselves, as soon as either were aware of this matter. They instead allowed this private information to remain in the public domain for over a week so that they could retaliate. Brown did so at Council's Thursday night meeting, right after Barron said that Brown owes CYF workers an apology for hanging them out to dry. Trapp retaliated when she cut off Barron's access to a menu in the county's system that enables both Barron andhis staff to review payroll.

"This adjustment will in no manner impair your office's or your ability to discharge your duties," Trapp claims. But Baron, who is an independently elected official charged with responsibility for monitoring county finances, disagrees. He said that without the menu, he would never have noticed that employees were being awarded raises without Council approval,or that Brown and Administrator Cathy Allen were improperly seeking reimbursements for expenses.

This is the second time Brown has actively interfered with Barron's access to county systems. In 2014, Barron was briefly barred from blanket emails to county employees that inappropriately referred to Brown as "Dear Leader." Barron's access was subsequently restored.

Barron has asked for a meeting with county officials.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

In his constant quest for attention, Barron created this issue himself. The publishing of a private individuals social security number is a disgrace, It doesn't matter if it was not intentional and if only a second, it was wrong. He continues to miss-step in his quest for publicity and in his highly partisan quest to elect McClure.

He has made another mistake amongst many. This time he disclosed private information that was not his to disclose. All the excuses and misdirection you will use to excuse this behavior is irrelevant.

Ms. Packer can file a suit against Barron and the County and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The FBI may also want to investigate an elected official releasing such private information to the press.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I hate to burst your bubble but a growing number of cases have held that there is no liability for the negligent distribution of a Social Security number that results in no damages. This includes the Dittman case from Pittsburgh . If this were not the case there would already be 500 million cases for this kind of tort. Incidentally the county was aware of this disclosure and did nothing to stop it. Also, under Amy Trapp's flawed reasoning,the county should discontinue its own access to its own computers. Barron acted unintentionally. At the county fair for over a week of information that it blew should not be disclosed publicly . This is clearly intentional and very clearly Political.

Anonymous said...

If any public official causes my SS# to be revealed, that public official should be publicly flogged. I don't care what the circumstances. No excuses. How dare he.

Anonymous said...

Barron should be censured by County Council for his reckless behavior.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

John Morganelli has been a national leader in ID theft awareness. It's time to make an example.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:29, The person you anonymously attacked is neither an elected official nor a candidate. So sign your name and take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Granted the social security number was a major snafu, however, this number should not be displayed on general county computers. Payroll, in all aspects, are public records and therefore should not be included in any record that can be opened by anybody without confidential status. In other words, it should have not been there in the first place.

The Brown/Allen/Trapp troika continues to be non-transparent, with the support of Council, in their daily dealings with important legal information and obligated to be disseminated to the public.

If you want this same activity to occur, keep these clowns in charge.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:53, 4:10, 6:19, Barron was the one person who was willing to open up about Sara Packer while county officials either stonewalled or actively misled reporters. While they circled the wagons or hid their heads in the sand, he was open about a monster who as in the county's employ, and was telling county administrators that they need to get out in front of the issue for the sake of the dedicated workers at CYF and to reassure the public that everything that could be done is being done. The admin and most of Council cowered, and now you anonymously crawl out from under your rock and attack the one person who actually cared about the employees and the public. Here's the thing. Though no identity theft occurred and the pubic disclosure never revealed that the number was actually a social security number, county administrators knew about this and purposely sat on it for over a week, waiting for the right moment to pounce. They had no regard for the privacy interest of employees and were only interested in lobbing a political grenade. I hope there is a resolution to censure Barron bc it will give me an opportunity to demand that Brown be censured for sitting on this information and for for refusing to be transparent about an ex adoption worker involved in the rape and murder of her own child. While ethy are at it, they should censor themselves for hiding their county email addresses from the public on the disaster of a website. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Brown's and Barron's behavior are outrageous and unacceptable. Both should be thoroughly investigated. Government shouldn't run this way.

Anonymous said...

It should not be a surprise that telling the truth comes at a cost.
This is exactly my experience, you "pay the price" to tell the truth as an employee in the county of Northampton.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

Amy Trapp is as bad as John Brown. That department has doubled, creating new policies that don't really make sense for the supervisors that are tasked to enforce them. When you try to get assistance, they need to check with Ms Trapp, who is MIA most of the time. I hope everyone remembers what a total mess this administration has been and gets out and votes these bums out! You think John Brown did anything for the county? Yea, he did plenty! He help to organize the mass exoduse of employees that resulted in the current mess we are left with.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Under our Crimes Code, "A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function by force, violence, physical interference or obstacle, breach of official duty, or any other unlawful act ... ." I think the argument can be made that preventing the controller from doing his lawful duties is obstruction. Also, I see no defense that justifies this crime by charging that the government official had to be obstructed bc he inadvertently disclosed one number that might be a social security number for less than one second.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's why Cathy Allen invited me out to lunch today, on the county!

Sassy R said...

As someone who works with confidential information, if I released any of it - for a second, for a minute, or posted on a billboard - I would immediately be fired. On the Morning Call article, Barron says he can still access information through other avenues, so it doesn't sound like his ability to do his job has been adversely affected. And just because her identity hasn't been compromised that we know, it doesn't mean someone didn't screenshot it for later use. Once it's out on the internet, there's no taking it back... I didn't see where anyone said he committed a crime, per se. If it's a violation of company policy, then there should be ramifications, no?

Anonymous said...

752--- Here is a policy that Amy Trapp should read, and follow.
Here is a statement quoted from the County of Northampton Code of Ethics----

This policy is intended to promote the principle that public office OR public employment is a PUBLIC TRUST.
Where government is based upon the consent of its citizens, the public is entitled to have complete confidence in the INTEGRITY of government and government workers.

Northampton County wishes to assure the citizens that the character and conduct of its officials and EMPLOYEES are above reproach.

As employees perform their official duties, it is important that the public have the highest degree of confidence in our conduct.

FELLOW EMPLOYEES, and TAXPAYERS, DEPEND ON THEM TO MAKE LAWFUL, ETHICAL DECISIONS.

Mary Beth

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sassy R, Barron cannot be fired, nor is he bound by HR policies. He is an independently elected official. You can fire him at the ballot box. He is being attacked for being transparent and doing what Brown should have done. Also, he has point blank told me he is unable to perform his role with that computer access blocked.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right. And the next thing you are going to tell me is that Steve Shiffert is not the Easton High football coach.

Anonymous said...

I am no friend of either Brown or Barron, but what do you want to bet that some of Brown's actions has to do with Barron appearing at McClure's press conference?

I think the Ds and Rs in NorCo like to see who can out-petty the other side more.

E Mest said...

Granted, there should not have been a leak of a social security number. Baron is a good man that got to the bottom of this supposed sick woman with the facts and we are bashing him? It's the Brown administration that you should be bashing. Where is your heart when it comes to. Grace Packer???? Wake up taxpayers. Baron is working for all of us and Brown is working against all of us with our money.

Anonymous said...

E Mest---right on!
This administration has covered up the ridicule of families, and improper conduct of employees.
In a meeting with Amy Trapp, she fought me on every issue.
Unethical improper conduct is wrong, and worse when it negatively impacts the population we are employed to serve.
I have exposed a thumbnail sketch of Government administration at work as it pertains to serving our most vulnerable!
Mary Beth

Jeff Fox said...

So much for working together for the good of the people of Northampton County. The two party system has failed us. Too much petty partisanship. Sooo frustrating. Independents unite!

george schaller said...

Bernie,
We all must never forget, the innocent indigent ones are but a insurable peril within the county of residence! There is one big slush fund that all the ACTing perpatrators within the triboro cesspool pool can draw from for there modern social illZ development advertiZmentalistZ for this world wide collective gang!
One must delve deep into the depts of depravity to understand the nue nue nue REnue the circus carnival design? Not to sink there ship that has fallen into disrepair but the lady that was once redd killed the crowd and the video viewers hardcore?
REpublican redd
humanist by design

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So much for working together for the good of the people of Northampton County. The two party system has failed us. "

Unfortunately, Jeff, the two party system in place more or less guarantees the failure of any third party.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am no friend of either Brown or Barron, but what do you want to bet that some of Brown's actions has to do with Barron appearing at McClure's press conference?

I suspect that is part of it, but I think it's mostly bc Brown and Allen fail to understand the importance of transparency. You just don't ignore NBC10 for three weeks. There were many things that Brown could have said before he released his statement on Thursday, and there are still many things he can say now, without violating anyone's confidentiality. Then when reporters began tuning in to this story, you'll note the admin tagged Barron as in "a guest for constant attention," as the first comment here states. What they forget is that Barron told multiple administrators to get out in front of this story. He did not want to be the person revealing that Sara Packer was a county employee. But he felt, and I strongly agree, that something like this should never be kept bottled up. A 15 year-old girl was given the worst that life has to offer despite the involvement of numerous government agencies. This has to be frankly recognized. Of course, Norco is in no position to evaluate the system statewide, but it does control its own CYF. Why did another caseworker in 2010 rape a boy? What is the caseload for individual caseworker? What are the hours? Could this have been avoided here?

Anonymous said...

Nothing happened in the short time this woman was employed by Northampton County. This is not on Northampton County. If you didn't work so hard to protect your buddy in Lehigh County you would be going after him. He not only stonewalled but Lehigh County had her foster. Muller also had the channel 10 reporter thrown out of the government center. I guess you are OK with that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Look, we have no idea what happened in her seven years with the county, which I do not consider a short time. I am not OK at all with stonewalling, no matter which county. And as I said before, let the chips fall where they may. This is the county that hired her, promoted her and fired her. This is the county that allowed her to foster a child. There are things the county is unable to say, but there are many things the county can say, and it is time to do so. If she was employed in LC, I'd be just as tough with Muller, but I doubt he'd handle this the way Brown has.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
How is it that theZe wierd circus freeks and geeks can even obtain jobs in any human service field, seems to me to have tie's to the local vatican and church on the run with itZ many many TENTicles in the triboro arena area agenda cesspool?
Judd ain't no dudd like the deplorably disrepaired reel deel!

Anonymous said...

Stop slinging bull. Muller threw the reporter out by an armed sheriff. Paker was not given a foster child by Northampton County, was it Lehigh County that gave her a foster child? Did she live in Lehigh County?

You want to crucify Brown because you hate him, he took away your special county privileges. However, if you were truthful you would admit you won't touch your buddy Muller.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am just as willing to call Muller out as Brown and have explained that NorCo is getting more attention from me because that is where Packer worked for seven years. The whole system looks like it is a mess. It needs an overhaul. But there is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to shinning the press, Brown has no equal. I have never seen an elected official who simply ignores the press (and through them, the public) as much as he. Muller had nothing to do with Durante's ejection, which might have been the result of anew deputy who simply had no idea what he was doing. But Brown had everything to do with posting an armed guard outside his office when reading a statement. You can't run a government by ignoring the governed.

Anonymous said...

She told you Muller refused to talk to her and had her thrown out. I guess the reporter is part of the main stream media giving you alternative facts. Rather than confront the truth you ramble on about Brown.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You need to learn how to read.

Anonymous said...

Voters need to vote Brown out! Stay vigilant