They are a perfect combination of politics, money and power. It's all in the family for the The Harringtons of the Lehigh Valley. They are certainly a part of the Lehigh's Valley ruling class. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. You could even say it's the American way. The goal of our founding documents was to rid ourselves of the nobility. We nevertheless still have an aristocracy who periodically impress their wills on their lessers. The Harringtons are intent on replacing our mostly moderate local leaders with woke extremists of dubious character. In the process of ruining our local government, there's money to be made. It's pretty clear that they've engaged in conflicts of interest in violation of the state Ethics Act.
Who is Tom Harrington?
According to LinkedIn, Tom Harrington is a graduate of Miami University with a B.A. in political science and government. He also holds several certificates that people in the business world often use to pad their resumes. He holds no degrees beyond his B.A,
After graduating, Harrington spent 34 years for the Boy Scouts, in locations as spread out as Dallas and Kansas. In late 2015, he was selected as President and CEO at Valley Youth House.
This appointment was controversial. "You've hired a person who upheld discrimination against gay youth," noted Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News. "And now that same person [Harrington] is going to be dealing with gay youth."
In fairness, Harrington stated at the time that he and others were trying to change Boy Scout policy from within.
Last week, I told you Harrington's 2019 compensation was a whopping $335,036. This is according to the 2019 tax return filed by this nonprofit. This is 1.18% of Valley Youth House's total revenue of $28 million. His compensation is approved by a Board of Governors, but these boards typically act as rubber stamps for whatever the director at a nonprofit wants. His salary is excessive.
In addition to his role at Valley Youth House, Harrington also chairs Allentown's homeless commission.
He was appointed in July 2020 at the request of Council member Ce-Ce Gerlach. She failed to disclose that she worked at Valley Youth House and Harrington is her boss.
His appointment comes right around the time that Gerlach, an intake worker at Valley Youth House, dropped a 16 yo runaway boy off at a tent city. He was thereafter abused for two nights until being rescued. Gerlach has admitted dropping this child off at a homeless enclave, but denied knowing his age. "[S]o if people want to beat me up over that, they can,” she told blogger James Whitney.
That matter is currently under investigation by the Lehigh County District Attorney.
What is Valley Youth House?
First established in 1973 as a single shelter, Valley Youth House "was open day and night, ensuring that vulnerable, abused and homeless young people in the community had access to shelter and counseling." Today, it calls itself "the catalyst for youth to achieve their desired future through genuine relationships that support families, ensure safe places, and build community connections."
According to its audited financials, at least two-thirds of its $28 million in revenue comes from money received from the counties as well as state and federal grants. Lehigh County paid $2.2 million to Valley Youth House in 2018 and $2.4 million in 2019.
At a zoom meeting of the homeless commission last week, Harrington suggested that Valley Youth House could manage a new homeless shelter under consideration at an unspecified location in Allentown. He used his position as Chair to solicit business for his nonprofit.
Who is Kathy Harrington?
Kathy Harrington, Tom's wife, is part of the blue wave that followed Donald Trump's election in 2016. She became the First Vice Chair of the Lehigh County Democratic Committee. She also formed a Democratic organization called Lehigh Valley For All, Initially, it may have been an inclusive organization, at least insofar as Democrats are concerned. That's no longer the case.
At their most recent endorsement meeting, Lehigh Valley For
All Some failed to invite incumbent Mayor Ray O'Connell or incumbent City Council members Ed Zucal and Daryl Hendricks, even though they are all proud Democrats. They failed to invite incumbent Democrat Bryan Callahan of Bethlehem, even though he was the sole member of their City Council to vote No to a tax hike in the middle of a pandemic.
Numerous other Democrats were snubbed as well.
Lehigh Valley For
All Some would then endorse Ce-Ce Gerlach for Allentown Mayor over incumbent Ray O'Connell. Members were never informed that Gerlach is employed by Harrington;s husband. Members were never told that Harrington's husband is trying to squeeze Allentown into letting his outfit manage a new homeless shelter. Members were never told that Gerlach is herself under investigation for her role in dropping a child off at a tent city, after which he was abused.
They would also go on to endorse Justan Parker Fields and Patrick Palmer for City Council over the snubbed Daryl Hendricks and Ed Zucal, both of whom are retired police officers. Palmer, who literally lives in his mother's basement, has dishonestly portrayed himself as a member of two city boards. Fields was never asked why he and a mob spent months pounding on the doors and windows of City Council meetings, disrupting them just as certainly as the insurrectionists did at the capitol. Fields was never asked to explain his use of a false name when stopped by Coplay police with his minor child in the car. He was never asked why he thought it was OK to drive his child with a suspended license.
What's dangerous about this endorsement is that, if Fields and Palmer are elected, City Council will have a majority of members who think public safety can be guaranteed by social workers. Ironically, these social workers refused to leave their homes during the pandemic and were perfectly content to allow police officers do their jobs.
Who is Dave Harrington?
Dave is the son of Kathy and Tom Harrington. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of Lehigh Valley For
All Some. More importantly, he is a Lehigh County Commissioner.. He was elected in 2019.
His mom (Kathy Harrington) contributed a small amount to David Harrington's campaign..
His Dad (Tom Harrington) was the treasurer for David's campaign committee.
As already established, Valley Youth House pays Tom Harrington over $330k a year.
As already established, Valley Youth House gets several million dollars a year from Lehigh County/
As Lehigh County Commissioner, David Harrington votes on the budget for Lehigh County. He voted in favor of this year's budget on October 28. It sets aside over two million for Valley Youth House. He failed to recuse himself even though his vote financially benefits his father.
State Ethics Act
According to the Pennsylvania Ethics Act, a conflict or conflict of interest exists when a public official uses the authority of her office or any confidential information received through that office for the private pecuniary benefit of herself, a member of her immediate family or a business with which she or a member of her immediate family is associated. A public officer also violates the public trust when he uses his influence as a public officer to advance the cause of that non-profit. There are several potential violations here.
1. Tom Harrington is a public officer as a member of the homeless commission, and violated the state Ethics Act when he promoted Valley Youth House as the manager of a new shelter.
2. Ce-Ce Gerlach possibly violated the state ethics act when she promoted her boss as a member of the homeless commission without disclosing she works for him.
3. Dave Harrington violated the state ethics act when he voted for a budget that includes several million dollars for his father's non-profit.