PHOTO INDEX: LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROBERT CORDARO AND WILKES BARRE MAYORAL CANDIDATE LINDA STETS
THE COMPANY WE KEEP
Yesterdsay, I had the opportunity to get out of work a bit early because of a medical appointment. I heard Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert Cordaro on WILK Radio and he was telling host Steve Corbett about the latest travails in the county involving Charles Costanzo. It appears that 12 FBI agents converged on Costanzo's business and started an investigation.
Mr. Cordaro and Commissioner A.J. Munchak announced Wednesday they fired Mr. Costanzo's company, Executive Claims Administration, after FBI agents told them they were investigating overbilling by Endless Mountain Investigations, a firm that worked for Executive Claims.FBI agents believe "a misappropriation of county funds has taken place," Mr. Cordaro said. The commissioner said Mr. Costanzo told him he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing.In the wake of the commissioners' announcement, Mr. Cordaro said he still believes Mr. Costanzo is a good man and hard worker and portrayed him as a victim of a bad vendor. He said the past arrests had nothing to do with Mr. Costanzo's performance as a claims administrator, which he said was exemplary.
On WILK radio, Cordaro said that he believed the charges against the firm were manipulated by the Scranton Times and that Costanzo was a good man. Host Steve Corbett probed the Commissioner on the past charges against Costanzo which include at least four arrests since 1997, including twice since 2004, when the county awarded his company the workers' compensation contract. The most recent arrest was in December, when Dunmore police charged him with slapping a female. The case was later dismissed. His most serious legal entanglements came in 1997, when he assaulted two women and a deputy sheriff, and in 1999, when he fled from police in his car after an apparent domestic dispute. Both times, his defense lawyer was Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro, who pleaded for mercy for his longtime friend during sentencing on the 1999 charges. At the time, Mr. Cordaro was not a commissioner, but was a candidate for the office.
On the radio show and in the press, Cordaro has said Costanzo is a good man and a good worker. That might be true enough but what has happened to the old adage "the company we keep". Mr. Costanzo can be the best claims administrator that ever came down the pike but wasn't there ever a question of personal ethics to serve the taxpayers of the county? Sure, Costanzo was a vendor but aren't vendors moral codes held to scrutiny? Why would a team of people running the government in Lackawanna County hire someone with this moral background? And then, defend the guy after not re-upping his contract. Weren't there any other people in the entire county who could have done that job without the "anger issues" or the "moral baggage"? Louis DeNaples is hauled before a grand jury in Harrisburg because he is trying to convert a resort and might have ties to dubious characters? No one is defending DeNaples as vigorously as they are Costanzo who pales in comparision when it comes to DeNaples charitable work in the area. Bob Cordaro hired a dubious character and defends him? If you ask me, DeNaples has had the wrong lawyer all around. There is an old saying, "the company you keep". It is evident that the company the Lackawanna County majority has been keeping is pretty sad. And to just refresh your memories, from YOU TUBE, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Charles Costanzo.
WASHO/O'BRIEN ADS START
You have to check out my friend Gort's site for the new Washo/O'Brien ads. The ads stress the family values of both men, complete with feeding the kids breaskfast, sending a daughter off to a college and looking to the future. There are reminiscent of the Munchak/Cordaro ads in the closing days of the 2003 campaign when the team gathered their wives and kids in an ad that castigated the opposition for making noise about the GOP team's personal finances. Anyway, it's a good ad, gives O'Brien some much needed gravitas and Washo more of a personality. Here's Gort's link:
Congrats to Wilkes Barre tower and the jury that acquitted him on Monday
of interfering into an investigation. Bob Kadluboski's actions snared a suspect who stabbed another person. But the D.A.'s office decided to prosecute. Funny, they didn't lose the paperwork on this case, did they?
STETS SETS FUNDER
Sunday Dinner with Linda J. Stets for Mayor? Hey, it might be fun!!! If interested, please respond by Sept. 12th. Here are the details: Date: Sunday, September 16th, Anthracite Cafe' Parsons section of WB, 12:30 doors open. 1pm or 2:30pm seating. Good food - Good company - Good time! Donation $25.00. Cash bar and Live entertainment. Call 825-2901