The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 2, 2013

Bell rings for Round 2 in Northumberland County salary dispute

SUNBURY - The Northumberland County commissioners once again reduced the salaries of all but one row officer on Tuesday evening. But before that vote was taken, Commissioner Rick Shoch alleged that some county officials may have skirted the law in another employment case.

Shoch, who opposed the row office salary cuts, claimed that President Judge Robert Sacavage and Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Steve Bridy signed a document that allowed former adult probation chief John Wondoloski to collect unemployment compensation even though Wondoloski actually retired.

Shoch displayed a document that listed Wondoloski as a terminated employee, but Shoch said he has emails and proof that Wondoloski actually retired, thus making the former adult probation chief ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.

“I have emails from Wondoloski talking about leaving for months. We have all been in meetings with adult probation and the form was filled out as a termination with the reason given as his job was eliminated. The problem is that document was on my desk three days before we had the salary board meeting to determine whether or not we would restructure adult probation,” Shoch said.

“The form was dated two months prior to this. The only way I can see this was classified was so he would be able to collect and I got confirmation he filed June 21. He was talking about leaving, and if there was a done deal for him, then it’s a Sunshine Law violation.”

Shoch said he also has emails that Sacavage was going to throw a retirement party for Wondoloski at the judge’s cabin and it was going to be on a Friday.

“They were going to close the office down for a day and have the party on the taxpayers’ dime,” Shoch said. “But word got out and they never had the party, and there was an email or meeting and it was canceled.

Shoch was unsure where the email came from, but because it was labeled SOS, Shoch said he was told it came from Santina Sacavage, who is the judge’s daughter and who works in adult probation.

“There are enough good honest employees to say what’s going on,” Shoch said. “And they are putting information out there.”  

Sacavage, who was not at the meeting, said Shoch was telling “half truths.”

“First, there was nothing done illegal by anyone,” Sacavage said. “He is taking something that is normal administrative undertaking and turning it around. The position was terminated. He can say this happened but he knows what happened. He knows the ups and downs and we were quite surprised when he did not vote for the restructuring. He seems to be talking about the magic goose. It’s so far fetched and there must be something going on in his mind.”

Sacavage also said he did in fact have a party planned for Wondoloski, but it was on a Saturday and when people began to email details about the event, he put a stop to it.

Wondoloski, who was reached by phone after the meeting, said Shoch is wrong.

“To say that a judge or commissioners would do something that was illegal is just crazy,” he said. “I lost my position as part of a restructuring plan done by the courts. Nothing illegal was done by anyone.”

After Shoch’s allegations about Wondoloski, the commissioners voted 2-1 to cut the row office salaries again. The first vote, taken last month, was not official because of an error in the legal advertisement for the hearing.

Text Only
News
  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    DANVILLE – An older woman, from the area, was killed in a log truck-car crash at about 1:45 this afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.