November 11th, 2005

Scranton Times-Tribune – 11/11/2005: Some Throop workers forced to go without pay


THROOP — Some borough employees did not receive paychecks Thursday, and payroll may be in jeopardy again next week.

Ten borough workers who use direct deposit went unpaid and are not expected to receive their pay until Monday. The other 35 employees received their paper checks.

“This is ridiculous. I have two kids in college and I can’t get paid,” DPW worker David Dozack said.

In the past two weeks, Councilwomen Daryl Menichetti and Cindy Johnson resigned as council president and vice president respectively, though they said they would remain on council.

Their signatures, along with Borough Manager Robert Hegedus’, are required on payroll checks.

According to Mr. Hegedus, no one came in to sign the checks this week, so minority Councilman James Barnick arranged it with the bank that he be allowed to sign off on them.

“The money is there to pay these people, and I signed the wire transfer, so I don’t know why it didn’t go through,” Mr. Barnick said.

Mr. Hegedus said he received notice from the bank that the wire transfer they wanted to use — which is faster — did not work. He said employees will receive their pay electronically by Monday.

“If we don’t have a meeting by next week, the payroll is in jeopardy again next week,” he said.

Council could have decided on these issues at its Thursday meeting; however, majority council members Ms. Menichetti, Ms. Johnson, George Marushock and Susan Shortz did not show up. Four members are needed for a quorum.

“If they don’t want to come, then let them quit,” Mayor Stanley Lukowski said. “In 22 years, I never saw something like this.”

Ms. Shortz said she was too sick to attend and did not know the other council members would not be there.

“I don’t want to see people not get paid, but I don’t know how to move forward,” she said.

She said she thought Ms. Menichetti and Ms. Johnson would still be signing the checks until their resignations were accepted.

Efforts to reach the other majority members were unsuccessful.

“We need someone in here so we can move this town forward,” Mr. Barnick said

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse….

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