Sunday, July 17, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1682, July 17th, 2011



The Times Leader and its County reporter Jennifer Learns Andes reports that former Luzerne County Controller Steve Flood has died. Here's her story: Former Luzerne County Controller Steve Flood died in his sleep Saturday afternoon, according to Heather Paulhamus, his partner and guardian.
Flood had been unable to speak well since he had a stroke in 2007. Many have credited him for sparking the federal investigation that led to charges against former county judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan.
Hours before his stroke, Flood was at a county commissioner meeting complaining about the county’s leasing of a Pittston Township facility that was later linked to the charges against the judges.
The outspoken county watchdog had scraped up documents on the former judges and detention center and presented his findings and suspicions to authorities. He said at the time that he was confident Conahan and Ciavarella were somehow profiting from the detention center.
Paulhamus said Flood passed away peacefully at the Special Care Hospital in Nanticoke. He was admitted there about a week ago after doctors at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital determined he had suffered another stroke, she said.
Flood cried when doctors told him he had another stroke, she said. Paulhamus said she took him to Wilkes-Barre General because he was not feeling well when they were returning from a trip to visit friends in Maine. The second stroke eventually led to paralysis throughout his body, she said.
Flood ran for Luzerne County Commissioner in a crowded race in 1975. He lost. He returned in 2001 to run for County Controller. The then Controller Tom Pizano decided to run for County Commissioner with Tom Makowski. Andy Reilly got the Democratic endorsement but Flood won the race in a tight race. It was said that Flood victory signaled the end of the Democratic party power brokers because had Pizano stayed where he was, there would be no Steve Flood. Flood took office and became an adversary of the Makowski regime. He questioned various contracts and proposals and made a huge fuss over the Juvenile Detention Center. Flood filed various lawsuits and asked for federal probes into the county business doings. Most of it fell on deaf ears especially after Flood gave up the Controller's post in 2003 to run for County Commissioner. In a crowded field he was defeated. He still was consumed, perhaps too much by fighting corruption at the county level. Many people have said that if not for the noise created by Steve Flood, there would be no federal investigation into the Luzerne County doings.


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