LCC respond to recent court loss with defiant statement

Todd Bartley,

In the aftermath of the stunning defeat handed to the Lycoming County Commissioners by Judge John B. Leete in the case brought by Krista Rogers, Lycoming County Controller against them; on Monday the Commissioners issued a statement.

The statement is published in its entirety below.

“We have studied the recent decision from Judge John B. Leete in the case brought by the Controller against the County. We respectfully disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe it was wrong for a number of reasons. We will be analyzing that decision while we consider how best to proceed.

We remain focused on the core issue of how taxpayers will best be served and protected and where the County’s general ledger, payroll, and accounts payable functions should be housed in that regard.

When those three functions were within the County’s fiscal department for generations before we recently transferred them to the Controller, they were performed seamlessly and in a manner which protected the taxpayers. The Commissioners paid the payroll and performed the accounts payable and accounts receivable functions. The Controller’s oversight ensured that the Commissioners did not violate any laws or County policies.

After these functions were assigned to the Controller, however, it became clear that the same office that would be performing the functions — the Controller — also would be overseeing their legality. In essence, the “fox would be guarding the hen house.” We cannot believe that the General Assembly wanted a division of the duties between the Controller and the Commissioners in a manner that would permit such an arrangement to exist.

The Court’s Order would, if not appealed, send these functions back to the Controller.

We consider that Order to be legally incorrect, but we continue to assess the practical question of whether the functions can now be effectively handled by the Controller’s office.

The answer to that question will drive our decision. We wish to emphasize that we are not approaching this decision in an adversarial manner, but simply from the point of view of what is best for our taxpayers.”

The currently elected Lycoming County Commissioners are Scott L. Metzger, Chairman, Tony R. Mussare, Vice Chairman and Richard Mirabito, Secretary.

The currently elected Lycoming County Lycoming County Controller is Krista Rogers.

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