Sunday, January 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1454, Jan. 30th, 2011



Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith met with a 50 of the county’s 69 elected tax collectors last week and politely asked them to start using the county’s online computer program to track their tax bills.
What???? They’re not doing it now? Most everybody has a freakin’ computer these days. I overheard two people over 80 in Dunkin’ Donuts the other day talking about chat rooms and poker sites. I’d be anything but polite. Griffith told the Times Leader that he has reviewed the law and does not believe he could force them to use the system. The Controller indicated he could seek a court order but doesn’t want to resort to that. Usage of the system will speed up processing, audits and the transmission of delinquent tax bills to the county’s tax claim office. This county needs the money and the faster it gets it, the better.


Luzerne Coiunty had a leak last week but it wasn’t to a confidential source to the media or anything like that. It was a hole in the roof. The Times Leader reported that water leaks at Luzerne County’s leased record storage building have angered county Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski. (Past history indicates it don’t take much to set her off!)
The lady does have a point telling the local press, “If the commissioners had apples and oranges to store, then it might have been a suitable site, but not for records that are the history of our county,” said Medico Olenginski.
An employee discovered the leaks on the fourth floor of the Thomas C. Thomas Building in downtown Wilkes-Barre last week. He alerted the impacted departments, and records were moved in the area of the leaks. Buckets and tarp were set up to prevent the water from seeping to the floor below.
But later on in the week, the full time employee discovered puddles and water on top of some file cabinets in several spots on the third-floor, where Prothonotary records are kept. Some papers were warped from the water, but were moved before they were destroyed. County Commissioner Stephen A. Urban said he asked county Engineer Joe Gibbons to check it out, and Gibbons told him that building owner Tom Thomas said permanent roof repairs cannot be completed until the weather breaks. In the meantime..............................................


The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a modification to the plea agreement with Robert Mericle that will likely increase the sentence he faces for his guilty plea related to the Luzerne County corruption probe.
The amendment, changes part of the plea agreement that stated the U.S. Attorney’s office would recommend Mericle be sentenced to the minimum under federal sentencing guidelines. The government has now inserted language that says it is free to recommend a higher sentence, up to the maximum.
The government said language that would allow it to seek a higher sentence based on Mericle’s “obstructing or impeding the administration of justice.” The document does not state what action Mericle has allegedly taken to obstruct justice. What is also interesting is that the agreement also removes language that gave Mericle a reduction under sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility. This is a standard fare given to defendants who agree to plead guilty and spare the prosecution the expense of a trial.
One has to wonder where this came from and why at this time. Does the recent indictment of Senator Musto have anything to do with this? If I were on the Mericle defense team, I’d want some answers.


At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IRT the computer systems and online abilities. Many of these small-time gov't entities don't have any on-line capability. Example Lower Lackawana Sewer Authority. Nothing. Handwritten receipts, can't pay on line. They are operating with turn of the century, 18th century, technology.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder the same about Mericle, is it possible that he was not so accurate in providing witness against others.....

At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another lease the Commissioner's signed with no clue as to what they were getting. It is so far past the day that Urban and Petrilla resigned. It might make for a great TV game show .... How Much Damage Can Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer Do Before Leaving Office?

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever see starlight
Rushing from the skies
Heading for home
In a certain someone's eyes
Uh uh huh, that's my builder,
Talking bout my builder and I love him
He's a robert miracle (ooh, ooh)
He's a robert miracle (ooh, ooh)

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A deal is a deal and obviously Mericle didnt live up to his part of the bargain.
Meanwhile what is the current status on the judges? Will they ever face the music or will the never ending tap dance continue?
Also in Lacka County, will Bob Cordaro and AJ Munchak ever see the inside of a courtroom?
Whats the one about justice delayed? Justice period doesnt seem to be the operative situation in Lulacland.

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was the Controller before Mr. Griffith? Oh, that's right, Ms. Petrilla. Martinelli didn't count, he just road out the time after Petrilla appointed him for Skrep before one actually got elected. Once again why didn't Petrilla push the issue with the Tax Collectors? Has she actually done anything worthwhile for the County?

As for Thomas C. Thomas, they have been farting around with this issue for some time. Why can't the County solve anything in a timely fashion? Oh, I know the answer . . . . NO leadership and mismanagement.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urban and Petrill's ownly claim to fame is that they are the first to recognize a problem after it becomes public. That's it folks, they do nothing. Urban is busy casting small stones at those he dislikes and Petrilla is busy writing in her "get um back" book. If it weren't for vengence, these two would have no reason to live.


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