Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Debit Card Debacle

Sources tell me the Luzerne County Debit Card case is about to break. For the unfamiliar, several county managers are accused of using their county-issued debit cards on items that were not county business. After the story broke, all of them ponied up to the bar (sorry Sam Hyder) and reimbursed Luzerne County for their "unjustified" bills.

Earlier this year, there was a spate of arrests in Luzerne County of Tax Collectors and government employees who were charged with dipping into the public till. Lawyers for all of them tried to have their clients make restitution to mitigate their arrests. District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll, to her credit, said, "no." The accused had violated the public trust and simply paying back what they had stolen was no way out.

Here are the courses of action as I understand them. First, all used county money as income and therefore are liable for paying taxes, even if they made restitution. Two, the issue of public trust. Federal investigators have been placed in a box by D.A. Carroll. If the feds don't make arrests and close the case, they'll look like they've done nothing.

Let's hope this goes down the right way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And while people should do time over this, it will serve the dual purpose of drawing attention away from the reassessment disaster that is going to literally cause many, many homeowners to financially collapse.

The over-assessment of uncountable properties in Luzerne County is a trainwreck, KJ, and the commissioners need to step up and slam the brakes on this thing.

The best example of this clusterf**k has to be the mayor of Harveys Lake, whose property was, by 21st Century's admission,
over- assessed by 300K.