Saturday, October 3, 2009

Luzerne County Did Discuss Building A New Prison

At one time Luzerne County was looking to build a new prison.

County jail design will cost $2.5 million

WILKES-BARRE Luzerne County officials are poised to spend more than $2.5 million to design a new prison even though construction on the jail may not begin for years.

The money to finance the new prison’s design will come from about $30 million in bond money the county borrowed for other projects, but has not expended to date, Skrepenak said.

Design costs are typically 5 percent to 7 percent of the estimated construction costs, Larry Bickford, a representative of Kimball and Associates, said during the work session. County officials negotiated a cost of about 4.25 percent of the estimated $68 million construction cost because of the uncertain construction date, said Sam Guesto, county manager.

From recent news releases the prison needs to happen sooner than later.

Mayor Leighton is asking the FBI to look at Wilkes Barre City Hall. Nothing against Leighton but would the catharsis happen if the FBI never came to town? Why wasn't that matter turned over to the District Attorney first? You see the normal protocol would be District Attorney/Attorney General/FBI but there is nothing normal about what is going on in Luzerne County at this point.

Pittston is attracting its share of attention. The FBI nabbed a Pittston businessman for obstruction of justice charges relating to the storing of county records at his private building. Barton Weidlich was caught leaving the county records in his own "cookie jar." Evidently Sam Guesto wasn't familiar with the County Code enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature which prescribes the manner for keeping and maintaining county records.

If you download it be aware that it is around 339 pages but it is good reading. Read the part(page 72) where the Salary Board is made up of the three commissioners and the controller.

Section 1622. Salary Boards Created.--There is hereby
created in each county a salary board, which shall consist of
the three individual members of the board of county
commissioners and the county controller in counties where there
is a controller, or the county treasurer in counties where there
is no controller. The chairman of the board of county
commissioners shall be chairman of the salary board. The board
shall meet and organize on the first Monday of January of each

Then read the minutes of Luzerne County's Salary Board and see if that is the way they are doing it. Here is a link to the latest meeting.

Is that the procedure Ciavarella followed when he gave Angela Sallemi an almost $21,000.00 per year raise?

Back to the need for a jail.

Veteran reporter Jennifer Learn-Andes chronicles the problems Exective Director Allen Bellas faces connected to the federal corruption probe.

Bellas had informed Paternoster on Wednesday that he would be resigning within 10 days because of something connected to the federal corruption probe. Paternoster said Bellas indicated that he was “in trouble.”

In the 1800s it was called a Gold Rush.  In the 21st century it is known as the "FBI Express Lane to the Pen".

No comments: