The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 15, 2013

More smoke and mirrors

Daily Item

---- — Smoke is used in magic shows to create an illusion or a distraction so the audience can't uncover the truth on what is going on. Point Township officials have on numerous occasions used similar smoke screen tactics to disguise their own failures.

I am now watching Point Township's legal counsel Richard Shoch creating a dog and pony show at every chance to divert attention way from the fact that he was involved in the ongoing grant debacle called Kings Pointe. Northumberland County Commissioner Richard Shoch was in fact the solicitor for the Point Township Planning Commission during this entire grant debacle. How is this fact not a conflict of interest? How is it Shoch was paid with my tax dollars to meet with DCED officials to convince them to let the Township off the hook for this clear misuse of federal funds?

Commissioner Shoch loves to create "ah ha" moments to try and make it appear he is uncovering corruption. His latest display of smoke and mirrors was attacking a sitting Northumberland County President Judge. As a taxpayer I am appalled at watching an elected official, who is paid by my tax dollar, continue to act as though he is the one uncovering corruption.

The federal government has deemed that Point Township failed to properly administer the grant requirements and the DCED was wrong in not demanding Point Township repay $381,000 plus of taxpayer's money. After Point Township officials are held accountable for this grant debacle, no amount of smoke and mirrors are going to create a big enough illusion to hide your involvement in this mess. I think it is quite clear in the case of the HOME funding grant who the criminals actually are.

Mark Heintzelman,

Point Township