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Lycoming County commissioners respond to controller’s assertions

Lycoming County commissioners released a statement in response to recent actions they’ve taken, including those involving the county controller.

County Controller Krista Rogers and the commissioners this year were involved in a court case over the transfer of her employees to the Office of Budget and Finance.

Potter County Judge John Leete ruled against a complaint by the commissioners who alleged Rogers threatened to withhold pay from the reassigned employees and directed files be hidden and not turned over to the county.

He also ruled against the plaintiffs on a contempt violation against Rogers.

Rogers most recently spoke out against the 911 plan, which involves bonuses for employees.

She felt other county employees who have worked during the pandemic should be considered for financial incentives as well.

The commissioners in turn released the statement, which reads in part: “Because the controller continues with her unsupported assertions of alleged illegal conduct by the county commissioners, we are compelled to respond. First, the action by the commissioners on the 911 recruitment/retention plan was proper. The concept of the plan was approved on Tuesday, Aug. 17, with the understanding that Salary Board action would follow before implementation in September. The Salary Board action required to implement the plan was taken on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with a unanimous vote to implement the plan, including the controller herself voting in favor.

“Second, the commissioners stand by their decision to return essential fiscal functions to the Office of Budget and Finance. As we said when we initiated this process, we brought this suit to protect the integrity of the county’s financial operations. The suit prevented threatened interference by the controller with the process of returning these functions to the office where they had been effectively performed for decades.”

Commissioners further stated that their response was “to dispel the controller’s contention our decision was improper and illegal.”

They noted that the judge did reverse action by the commissioners regarding the transfer of employees.

“As this point, it is our hope that everyone will simply move forward from here. We believe the County’s taxpayers are more concerned with these essential functions being performed properly — as they now are — rather than what office performs these ministerial acts.”

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