Lycoming County Commissioners Take Legal Action Against Comptroller | News, Sports, Jobs
Lycoming County Commissioners have taken legal action against an elected official for what they claim was a misconduct in the performance of their duties.
At their Tuesday meeting, the commissioners clarified the reasons for the transfer of four staff members from the county comptroller’s office to the budget and finance department.
Transfers approved last week drew another sharp rebuke from Comptroller Krista Rodgers, who claimed the move violated county code.
Rodgers is the target of the lawsuit in Lycoming County Court Tuesday.
“I think they are seriously twisting the situation,” she said after the commissioners meeting.
Commissioners said on Tuesday the facts set out in their complaint against Rodgers were true.
They argued that the transfer is necessary to train employees.
“It’s not a takeover,” Said Commissioner Scott Metzger. “We are ultimately responsible for the finances of the county.”
The commissioners argued that errors in the comptroller’s office resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars.
“It’s a takeover” Rodgers said. “It has been a conspiracy from the start.”
Rodgers said Commissioners have been considering such a move for a long time.
Commissioner Rick Mirabito said Rodgers threatened to stop signing checks as his office demanded.
Rodgers responded with, âI can’t sign invoices that I can’t see. By law, I cannot.
She reiterated her previous statements that the Commissioners exceeded their authority.
“If they can do this to an elected official, they can do it to another elected official”, she said.
She vowed to always stand up for taxpayers.
Commissioner Tony Mussare said mistakes had been made in the controller’s office and the staff in that department now needed to be properly trained.
“I’m sure this will be resolved,” he said.
The complaint states that the fiscal responsibilities of the county government rest with the county comptroller.
The complaint further states: “This county action is based on the controller’s inability to properly perform the payroll, accounts payable and general ledger functions of the Lycoming County government at all relevant times …”
The complaint also states that the comptroller created the situation in his office in at least two ways.
âFirst, the comptroller is not an accountant and does not know how to train his staff, but she rejected the help of the county commissioners offered by the director (now retired) of the finance office. Second, the Controller’s continued failure to come to her office left a vacuum in leadership and supervision. Although the inspector alleges his absence was due to family health issues, his absence predates those issues and the onset of COVID-19. Important aspects of the county’s financial functions have operated largely with an absent controller, with serious and adverse consequences. “
Rodgers said the issue was not with training or alleged errors.
In an email to the Sun-Gazette, she accused the commissioners of “Abuse of power” and “A conspiracy to overturn the law” in the past 16 months.
âThey have been trying to figure out how to remove me from these functions and positions since December 2019, when they started paying their lawyer again on this matter after deciding to follow the law in May 2019. What they are is going to be. against the law of the Palestinian Authority state and is the biggest waste of Lycoming County taxpayer money. I tried to talk to them about training and working together within the law. I will now have to wait and see what their file says.
âAgain this week my office corrected two errors where employees would have been paid more than what would have been appropriate, according to policy, based on inappropriate information provided to employees by the human resources department and the board of commissioners. . “