The first time I saw Amy Zanelli was at a Hanover Tp (Northampton County) Supervisors' meeting in 2015. Though Hanover Tp was once known as Chickentown, it imposed a backyard chicken ban in 2011. Zanelli, who had a chicken coop with four hens, wanted that policy changed. While the CDC has just issued a warning about a salmonella outbreak linked to backyard chickens, they are nevertheless increasingly popular in suburban and even urban environments. I found no fault with Zanelli's poultry pitch, but something else bothered me. At the time, she was employed by Northampton County Children and Youth. She flashed her badge at Supervisors, which was entirely inappropriate. It was a portent of things to come.
Fast forward two years, and she's no longer a resident of Hanover Tp. She's no longer a Children and Youth caseworker. Now she's a realtor living in West Bethlehem, and is running for Lehigh County Comm'r.
I learned then and told you Zanelli had been employed as an intake worker in Somerset County, but was terminated in 2012 because she refused to return to work after receiving a number of leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act. She left the most vulnerable element of our society, our children, go without protection. Though she refused to work, she dropped in on her office one day to deliver Avon products to co-workers.Zanelli appealed her termination and lost.
She told me she was a victim of discrimination.
Zanelli then worked in Northampton County Children and Youth as a caseworker between March and October 2015. She was terminated there as well, and during her probationary period.
She told me this was because her hours had been expanded beyond the time she had agreed to give.