Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ransom Young Needs To Address Possible Ethics Problems

In this Kent Jackson article written March 7, 2012 in the Standard Speaker Ranson Young, candidate for the House seat in the 116th Pennsylvania district and presently Butler Township Supervisor, it is reported that Young is "suing the other two supervisors and the township to regain a job as road foreman from which they fired him in January."

In the federal lawsuit, Young says Supervisors Brian Kisenwether and Charles Altmiller fired him because he campaigned against them.

Young, a Democrat now running for state representative, defeated Kisenwether, a Republican, in an election for township supervisor in 1995. Young campaigned against Kisenwether in 2009 when Kisenwether defeated Democrat James Caffray to become a supervisor. In 2011, Young campaigned against Republican Altmiller, who also defeated Caffray to become a supervisor.

When Altmiller took office in January, he and Kisenwether formed a Republican majority. They fired Young and Caffray, who was zoning officer, at a meeting on Jan. 3.

Young says in the lawsuit that he received no notice that he would be fired before the meeting and was told no reason for his dismissal. In the lawsuit, he says he was fired in retaliation for exercising his right of free speech by campaigning.

The caption to this photo reads "Asphalt from a shovel held by Luis Ocasio, who works for the Butler Township Road Department, falls to the surface of Mill Mountain Road, Butler Township. Behind him, Freeland Street Foreman Bob Babenko and Butler Township Roadmaster Ransom Young operate a spreader, while Terry Webster, of the Black Creek Township road crew, uses a rake to smooth asphalt from the side of the road. All three municipalities, including West Hazleton, work together on road maintenance and repairs to cut costs."

Back in 2010 this Standard Speaker article highlighted salary questions regarding Ransom Young's employment with Butler Township as a supervisor and a road worker. 

Young was scheduled to receive $2,000 for his job as roadmaster, which is a supervisor position and was up for a 4 percent wage increase for being road foreman. Last year the roadmaster position paid $4,000. Young's salary, including the 2010 raise, would have been $49,429.38. Additionally, any supervisor that works on roads in the township receives $24.69 per hour."

According to these three Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission rulings it appears Ransom Young has a significant ethical issue regarding his dual employment by Butler Township.

In the matter of Richard Hessinger, supervisor for Summit Township, from 1994 the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission ruled

Hessinger violated Section 3(a) of Act 170 of 1978 in 1988 and 1989 when he received double payment as a salaried roadmaster and as a laborer at an hourly rate for performing road related duties.

In another case before the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission from the same year Thomas Wasiela, another supervisor in Summit Township, received a similar verdict. 

Wasiela violated Section 3(a) of Act 170 of 1978 when he received double payment as a salaried roadmaster and as a paid laborer at an hourly rate for attending the PSATS's convention in 1988 and 1989.

Wasiela violated Section 3(a) of Act 170 of 1978 for receiving payment, at the hourly rate set by the township board of auditors for a working township employee, as to duties which were encompassed within the functions of elected township supervisors for the calendar year 1989.

In this matter involving Robert Noel, supervisor for Reade Township, the Ethics Commission found he committed a similar violation from 2004 through 2009. 

Robert T. Noel ( "Noel "), a public official in his capacity as a Supervisor for Reade Township ( T"ownship ")f rom January 2004 to the present, violated Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act ( E" thics Act "), 65 PSa.C.. 1 103§(a) , in relation to his actions as a Township Supervisor to approve and issue payment for hours claimed as a Township road worker at the same time he was serving asTownship Roadmaster.

Mr. Young should explain to the public in explicit terms whether the findings in these three cases applies to his role as Butler Township Supervisor, Butler Township Roadmaster, and Butler Township supervisor working on roads.  Did he approve payments to himself in all three of these roles?



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This guy will be kidnapped for Ransom.