The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 9, 2013

Northumberland County judge disputes commissioner's allegations

— SUNBURY — Stating that he wanted to return to the scene of the “attack,” President Judge Robert Sacavage on Tuesday denied allegations that he was involved in falsifying documents so that a friend could collect unemployment benefits.

In turn, Rick Shoch, the county commissioner making the charge, stood by his allegation that the judge had helped a former adult probation chief obtain the benefits illegally and called for an investigation by an outside agency.

Sacavage arrived for his press conference at 11 a.m., took a seat at the county commissioners table in the county administration building and spoke about the allegations leveled by Shoch, who left the conference early, but fired back in a statement Tuesday night.

Sacavage said, “This will not be a dog and pony show, and I chose this location because this is where Mr. Shoch decided to attack me when I was not around to defend myself.

“I could have done this in my courtroom and wore my robe and had sheriffs all around me, but I decided to come here.”

Sacavage said he would tell his side of the story and the verdict would be up to the residents of Northumberland County, and he also asked for Shoch to be removed as the liaison between commissioners and the courts.

Shoch sat in the front row and watched as court administrator Brandy Yasenchak passed out media packets that countered Shoch’s charges. About 40 minutes into the press conference Shoch left.

Shoch leaves early

After the press conference was over, Chief Clerk Gary Steffen announced that Shoch said he had to leave to attend a deposition.

Sacavage said: “Mr. Shoch wanted to paint this dark picture that I had been a part of corruption and was part of a co-conspiracy with other commissioners to scheme to set up a program that would reward a former employee by allowing him to receive unemployment benefits. But the truth is Mr. Shoch’s theories don’t hold up.”

During an Oct. 1 public meeting held by the commissioners to set row office salaries Shoch displayed a hire sheet that he said showed Sacavage signed off on former Adult Probation Chief John Wondoloski’s termination although Wondoloski actually retired.

The sheet had the signatures of Sacavage, Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Steve Bridy and other county officals.

Sacavage said he had a plan to save the county more than $100,000 and that plan included eliminating Wondoloski’s position.

“First I will not deny Wondoloski is a friend of mine, and he was a credited state trooper and we were lucky to get him after he left the state police,” Sacavage said. “But the fact is Mr. Shoch has said Mr. Wondoloski applied for unemployment benefits in June, which was before the salary board meeting in July. As an attorney and a commissioner you would think Mr. Shoch would have done his homework and made sure he had the proper evidence to back up these claims, but as you can all see Mr. Wondolsoki did not contact the state Department of Labor and Industry until July 21.”

Text Only
  • Tawny Dog owners not surprised to learn pooches get jealous

    DANVILLE — Dogs are often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows that pooches can get a little green over how much time you spend with other canines.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lottery Big lottery payouts pay off for seniors

    HARRISBURG — State lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

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.