State organization backs Lycoming County commissioners in dispute with controller

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WILLIAMSPORT – The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) has entered connected behalf of Lycoming County its fray with the elected controller.

It filed a little Monday successful Commonwealth Court claiming Potter County Senior Judge John B. Leete usurped the powerfulness of the commissioners.

The commissioners are appealing Leete’s ruling that Controller Krista B. Rogers was liable for wide ledger, payroll and accounts payable functions.

The “friend of the court” little was filed due to the fact that the entreaty concerns the contours of the authorization held by commissioners, CCAP explained.

The County Code states the commissioners successful counties with an elected controller shall beryllium the liable managers and administrators of the fiscal affairs, the little states.

The Code delineates definite constricted duties to elected controllers but the commissioners enactment arsenic the region legislative subdivision by appropriating funds and levying taxes, CCAP says.

Leete’s uncovering that the Code gives the payroll, accounts payable and wide ledger functions exclusively to Rogers lacks statutory enactment and conflicts with the precedent of the authorities Supreme Court, it claims.

Controllers play a watchdog relation successful that the Code provides they indispensable audit and determine connected each bills, claims and demands whatsoever against the county, it says.

CCAP agreed with the commissioners that if the Code specifically and exclusively vested payroll and accounts payable functions with the controllers, they would efficaciously beryllium auditing their ain bureau astatine the extremity of each fiscal year.

Under Leete’s mentation of the code, the commissioners could due monies and acceptable taxes but would person small different authorization implicit the fiscal affairs, the enactment contends.

The commissioners would person nary oversight relation successful ensuring that region spending fell wrong a due appropriation and did not transcend the appropriated amount, it claims.

The quality originated successful 2021 erstwhile the existent committee of commissioners, voicing concerns astir however enactment was being done, transferred to their Office of Budget and Finance those fiscal functions and 4 employees.

That enactment reversed a determination of the erstwhile committee of commissioners that moved them to the controller’s bureau astatine Rogers’ request.

The ineligible conflict began successful April 2021 erstwhile the 3 commissioners obtained a restraining bid requiring Rogers to motion checks to guarantee employees and vendors would beryllium paid.

She had threatened to withhold her signature successful protestation of the commissioners’ action.

Leete aboriginal vacated the restraining bid without addressing whether the commissioners had the authorization to transportation the employees.

That December, Rogers sued the region to unit the instrumentality of the functions and employees. That has resulted in Leete ruling 3 times that the Code gives those responsibilities to the controller.


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Source Pennlive