WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY- County Commissioner Steve Urban said Wednesday if some county workers are set on shirking job responsibilities by picking and choosing when they come to work, he'll make a proposal to reduce their wages from full-time to part-time. The latest threat comes after several employees were shown to be working other jobs, while collecting full-time county paychecks.
Deputy Recorder of Deeds Mark Carey was singled out a few weeks ago by WILK News Radio Personality Steve Corbett. Carey was apparently located at his insurance company in the middle of the workday. On Wednesday, Carey ignored questions by WBRE Eyewitness News outside his county office about the situation surrounding his employment schedule at the county. Carey brushed a microphone out of his way and suggested we contact Recorder of Deeds James "Red" O'Brien. O'Brien, an elected official, has never returned calls seeking information about Carey and other office business. Carey was O'Brien's campaign treasurer in the 2007 election. Carey's time cards, according to press reports, do not reflect any vacation or sick time taken.
County commissioners adopted a work policy last year. It's been revealed the document is largely ignored by row officers, who maintain they have ultimate control over their staffs. But county executives disagree and have promised action against the defiance. Urban proposed taking up the issue with the county's salary board to readjust wages to reflect actual hours worked. It's believed Urban's proposal will spark anger from a wide range of county employees and elected row officers.
Last week, the I-Team exposed time card problems in the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department. Chief Deputy Charles Guarnieri was out of the office for a month, according to three sources. Sheriff Michael Savokinas later defended Guarnieri's time off saying he had been on vacation for two weeks. But Guarnieri's time card did not reflect any vacation time. The sheriff admitted days after the story was exposed by the I-Team that a mistake had been made. Savokinas promised the error would be corrected with the county's payroll department.