For the second time this year, the public dispute between County Comptroller Krista Rogers and Lycoming County Commissioners over the staff transfer is brought to court.
“After repeated attempts on my part and that of my lawyers, and after having exhausted all my administrative remedies, I have no other choice but to take this legal action to return the positions and functions to my office. “, Rogers said in a press release.
The posts mentioned in the press release have been transferred by commissioners from the Rogers office to the budget and finance office, which is under the supervision of the commissioners. These positions are: second assistant / general accountant, general accountant and two financial technicians.
The April decision was prompted by what commissioners cited as problems in the Rogers department, such as errors in payroll, accounts payable and the general ledger.
At the time, Rogers argued that the actions of the Commissioners were a ” takeover “.
A statement issued on its current plans to file a complaint for the return of its staff said Commissioners, “Unilaterally transferred the county comptroller’s duties listed in Pennsylvania law to their own office of the budget and finance, thereby eliminating the independent tax oversight of Lycoming County taxpayers from their spending by the elected comptroller.” “
He further stated, “Without these critical positions, the comptroller is not able to fully exercise the fiscal oversight role required of a county comptroller, that is, to review, review, approve and to account for county spending and tax transactions on behalf of county taxpayers. “
Earlier this year, Commissioners filed a civil lawsuit against Rogers to have the comptroller perform her statutory duties, such as allowing her signature to be affixed to paychecks and accounts payable. In addition, a temporary restraining order has been sought to compel Rogers to perform the duties of his office.
The commissioners also filed a contempt motion alleging that the comptroller had obstructed the reassignment of two of the employees transferred to the budget and finance office. Court records show Commissioners said Rogers withheld records and documents for the duties of one of the employees who were being transferred.
The ruling by Senior Judge John Leete, Potter County, dismissed the county’s lawsuit without determining whether the commissioners had the power to transfer the employees in the first place, which the commissioners saw as a victory.
Because of this decision, Rogers argued at a meeting of the commissioners that he was “It is time to restore the powers of the comptroller in accordance with state law”.
The Commissioners disagreed with Rogers ‘description of the judge’s decision and kept the transfers in place, which apparently precipitated Rogers’ current decision.
“Despite defeat in court, commissioners still have not returned payroll, accounts payable and reporting positions to the comptroller’s office.” the statement said, where the controller claims they belong.
Rogers’ statement argues that the actions of the Commissioners “Eliminate a critical separation of powers of the counties” put in place by the state legislature contained in law defining the authority and responsibility of the county comptrollers set up to protect taxpayers.
“I cannot stand idly by and allow commissioners to remove the checks and balances – fiscal oversight in Lycoming County government,” Rogers said.
When contacted, the commissioners said they were consulting their lawyers and would issue a statement soon on the matter.