The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 3, 2013

Two-minute time limit ignites lawsuit against Clausi

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — For the second time in fewer than four months, Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi has been sued for allegedly violating the Sunshine Law.

William Knapick Sr., of Coal Township, claims Clausi imposed a two-minute limit on public comment at a Jan. 22 commissioners’ meeting.

Knapick claims no motion was made, seconded or approved by a majority of the commissioners to limit the public’s input to two minutes.

Clausi did not give the public a chance to comment on the new rule, Knapick said.

Knapick said he questioned Clausi on who would be keeping the time and what clock would be used, court documents said.

Clausi responded that he would keep the time and he would use a clock that hangs on the wall in the commissioners’ office, according to documents.

Knapick took the floor and began speaking and claims he was cut off before the two minutes he was granted had elapsed, court documents said.

Clausi violated the Sunshine Law by unilaterally imposing limitations on comments without proper motion, second and approval by a majority of the commissioners and without an opportunity for public comment on the new rule, documents said.