Thursday, October 24, 2019

Coroner Zach Lysek "Very Excited" About New Forensic Center

Coroner Zach Lysek is "very excited"
Last night, Northampton County Council conducted the second of several budget hearings to discuss Executive Lamont McClure's spending plan for next year in several county departments. "I just hope the jail's OK because, if all else fails, that's my retirement plan," quipped Council President Ron Heckman before the meeting got underway. According to Corrections Director James Kostra, it is. He reported there is only one vacancy among corrections officers at this time. An astonished John Cusick said this was a first for him in his 12 years on Council.

District Attorney John Morganelli presented his last budget from his 28 years as the county's top prosecutor. It is one that completely fulfills a promise he made in his first campaign, when he said the office needed to transition to an office of full-time prosecutors.

When he was first elected, there were nine full-time and two part-time  prosecutors.Even the District Attorney was a part-time office. Now the District Attorney is a full-time position, and 19 of his 21 assistants are full-time. If his proposed budget is approved, the office will have 21 full-time prosecutors.  His final two part-timers, John Obrecht and Richard Pepper, will resign at the end of the year.

Morganelli told Council that he has accomplished everything he set out to do, but now the office needs "a new set of eyes." He hopes he has laid a "good foundation" for his successor.The next DA will deal with "changing technology," extending from cell phones to the body cameras police officers now wear.

He was extremely complimentary of the Regional Crime Center started by Lehigh County DA Jim Martin, along with the forensic center at DeSales University. "In today's world, in almost every crime,we take someone's cell phone or computer,." he noted.

Speaking of forensic centers, Coroner Zach Lysek's forensic center is on target to be operational by September, 2020. He was before Council, too, to justify his budget.

"Be polite," Council President Ron Heckman warned his colleagues. "He takes the pictures when it's all over."

Though Lysek looked like he's ready for a body bag himself, he claimed to be "very excited."

Lysek stressed the importance of digital forensics in explaining the cause or manner of death. In fact, it is his one work that helped Colonial Regional police discover what happened when a Lower Nazareth woman suffering died in 2017 after ingesting what she thought was Percocet, but what was actually a combination of heroin and fentanyl. Lysek was able to analyze cellphone records and find the dealer. 

Lysek said the new forensic center will be "cutting edge technology," and he plans to work together with DeSales. But over time, the money spent on DeSales will decrease.

He also said radiology and patholgy residents from local hospitals will be welcome. This will generate no revenue, but Lysek said it is "good for society."

Sheriff Rich Johnston also presented his budget. In it, he takes aim at a county-wide problem - salary compression. Very few sergeants are willing take the leap to Lieutenant because, without overtime, they make less money. He has proposed increases. This is a signal, at least to me, that Executive Lamont McClure is approaching this problem incrementally, department by department.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

That forensics center is a gold plated monument to government overspending to pay off special interests. Do we need one? Yes. Did we need the Taj Majal of all forensics centers when so many county problems go unaddressed? Of course not. This is outrageous. And then they slap each other on the back and tell a few jokes. As a hard working taxpayer, whom you all despise so deeply, Fuck You shiftless, wasteful, worthless pieces of shit that you are.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you"? Oh so proper after an obscene tirade.

Anonymous said...

6:38 AM shows you just how sick some people are. They walk among us folks. I hope this person is fixed so they can't re-produce. I often wonder, what kind of parents raised children like 6:36. What a poor excuse for a human being.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
The answer to the Sheriffs problem of not having sergeants promoted to Lieutenants is not to throw more money at the situation. This sort of thing happens all the time in the military. Many sergeants won't take an officers promotion for many reasons. They don't want the responsibility, they don't want to lose their seniority standing among the rank and file, and yes the pay cut could be enormous after you consider longevity etc. etc. not to mention a huge change in your pensions since pensions are based on your last few years of service. This could be a great opportunity to hire someone out of college with a degree in law enforcement to be a lieutenant. This pitch to council for more money sounds like someone is trying to take care of a friend.

Anonymous said...

636 needs to processed through a laundromat. What a disgusting piece of trash.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:36 is Tricia Mezzacappa. The vulgarity gives her away.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:38, almost all the deputies have college degrees. One of them is a PhD. Hiring a LT fresh out of college just bc he has a degree would be idiotic. Some problems are only addressed by money. Salary compression is one of them.

Anonymous said...

All this glorified forensics center is a new toy for Zach..it's bull and everyone with half a brain knows it..there is a very capable and sofisticated center 15 min. from antwherei northampton county and that is airport road..State Police center there is no need to spend this mpney on this does'nt anyone stand up to these people Zach has access to any hospital He needs so lets stop with the bullshit....Zach needs to be put in His place He is elected, I plan on doing anything I can to see He is not re-elected all He is , is a political hack who takes advantage of the good resiidents of this county, anyone can do this job..especially if You have friends can get You elected

Bernie O'Hare said...

You obviously lack half a brain. Zach Lysek is not elected, but is a professional coroner who has served in that role since his appointment in 1992 by then Executive Gerald E "Jerry" Seyfried. Prior to that, he assisted Dr. Isidore Mihalakis, a well-regarded pathologist. His business is death. He is the man who determines that a tiny mark on a woman's neck is actually a sign of strangulation. He is the person who suspected that an "Percoset" pill was actually fentanyl, and was proved correct. He is an excellent and very professional coroner and, unlike you, has no interest in politics.

Anonymous said...

The center is being overpaid for. That's fact. It's unfortunate to see this kind of waste continue unabated. So much could be done with the premium being paid. We shouldn't expect any tax increases any time soon and employees should get fair raises, because we clearly have the extra cash laying around, right?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You mean it is being paid for by paying the people who do the work the prevailing wage. I know this bothers you, but welders and carpenters should be paid fairly, not just their bosses. I would add that county workers should be paid more fairly, and I hope the county starts paying more.

Anonymous said...

Bad location for center. Should be near or on Anderson Campus.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you and I will need a place like this to handle our circuses before being laid out like king tut in our sarcophagus so we can come back at Halloween. This to stalk our stalkers and scare the bejesus out from there asses where there feminine higene products are worn because they are irritable bowels.

Anonymous said...

Lysek spends more time with the dead then the living. AS for the deputies, why not being back Brian Kunkle ? He will save county money by giving physicals.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,,your just a disbarred attorney that will never be anything less than gutter trash!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tricia Mezzacappa, Aside from a disappointed and disgruntled bidder, you are the only person slamming Lysek and the forensics center. All three Rs on Council supported it. You have repeated dealt in lies and vulgarity and are currently a criminal defendant who lost a libel suit. But yes, I am disbarred and gutter trash. So what? I learned from my mistakes. You did not.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you and every other human alive made/makes mistakes. That's why God had to send his son to atone for us.