Roy Manwaring is a Magisterial District Judge in Bethlehem. I wrote about two years ago. after he improperly assessed court costs against a Defendant he had just found "not guilty" of overtime parking. Guess he never heard of the presumption of innocence. He actually refused to let his prey escape from his mini-courtroom until those costs were paid. Unfortunately for the mini-judge, the big one found out. President Judge Michael Koury ordered Manwaring to return the money and he did. He even apologized. So he's not a complete asshole. But Mini-Manwaring is regressing. This time, instead of arguing with innocent Defendants, he's fighting with the Northampton County Controller's office. Let me fill you in.
Northampton County's Controller's Office, currently headed by Tony Bassil, is pretty busy. It audits every department in the county that handles money. This includes mini-judges. After all, they (and the people who work for them) can steal, too. They handle a lot of cash payments. I've never seen even a hint of dishonesty in all those offices, but if there was, an audit would eventually catch it.
In addition to ruling out theft, these audits take a look at ongoing practices that might invite fraud. In auditese, these are called "internal controls."
Late last year, the Controller's office audited Mini-Manwaring. Staff Auditor Stacy Duke discovered that constables had key access into the secretarial area, which could give them unsupervised access to cash, financial records. She added this weakness existed in a previous auidit, and violates an internal control memo issued by Deputy Court Administrator on November 11, 2012. That memo bans constables, police officers and members of the public from the secretarial area. This is to deter access to cash records, cash and financial records.
You might think Mini-Manwaring would be thankful for this observation. Nope. He disagerees. He thinks constables "constables should have 'key access' to the secretarial area."
"I believe this issue rests within the sound discretion of the Magisterial District Judge who was elected to manage and run the court," he continues. I see. He's the plaintiff and judge in his own casuse. Maybe you won't be elected next time. People get queasy about a combination of arrogance and financial foolhardiness. Manwaring is thumbinmg his nose at the Controller and even the Deputy Court Administrator. Whether he likes it ornot, he is required to follow directives from the Court Administrator. But a judge who assesses costs against innocent people obviously has liilte regard for trivial details.