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"Quotes Of The Day" revisiting the
coroner's public funded training cruise,
anonymous sources versus credible sources
who must remain anonymous
"Did the county coroner ever reimburse the county for any of the
$14,000 spent on a training cruise for him and his family he employs?"
Pete, asking, in a Saturday evening voice mail, from the Italian
Festival in downtown Uniontown, where he said he was in search of
a Giuseppe sandwich
"Unsure, but if you want to ask for a Right To Know, please also ask
why the reimbursement happened with a formal request containing an
sign-off of just one commissioner, Dave Lohr, and a white out space
where another commissioner apparently once signed.
"Did Commissioner Vince Vicites white out his initials before or after
the reimbursement was paid to the coroner? In case the voucher got
lost downtown, here's a copy of it."
Rants&Raves, forwarding to Pete via email the voucher and an
accompanying packet of other pages this editor previously received
through an anonymous source
"Why didn't you publish a packet of information you said you received
anonymously about that cruise and other concerned citizen claims?"
Pete, curiously asking back
"Rants&Raves likely would have published it -- or would still publish it
in its entirety -- if the source trusted us enough to identify
him/her/themselves with their real names that would have remained
out of publication.
"There was a lot more being alleged in the packet than just a training
cruise reimbursement with one commissioner signing off in approval
and another who removed his initials with white out from the voucher
before or after reimbursement occurred.
"Credibility is or can be rather quickly established if a source
discloses his/her/their identity/identities.
"Sending anonymous information also requires us to spend too much
of rare spare time chasing down the same documents just to
"Without knowing a source or his/her/their real identities and
relevance to the situation to be confident the docs and letters are
authentic and claims in named letters to outside investigators are
factual, Rants&Raves won't publish the packet so redacted as it
would have to be otherwise."
April 28, 2018
Or ask Vicites, Lohr to pay half
Coroner should return
most of the $14,366.73
to county coffers
RANTS that the County of Fayette allowed its
financially strapped, meager coffers to pay a
$14,366.73 hotel, airfare, cruise ticket for an
elected official and staff, but has no money to
fund additional public defenders to speed up
inmate criminal motions and no money at all for
some worthwhile community programs, such
as libraries that increase our quality of life, or to
fix a once heavily traveled, but now closed,
small county bridge.
RANTS that the controversy and courthouse
whispering over the requisition form for that
reimbursement is said to have raised upset and
lowered employee moral in other departments.
Total training costs for the 14 hours of training
that each of the six coroner's office staff
received on the seven day cruise was $2,995.
Not that this specific $14,366.73 expense was
approved recently at a public meeting. It wasn't.
The reimbursement check was cut last
December for the full amount. Commissioners
approved non-specific training and travel
funding at last year's budget sessions. Fayette
County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave
Lohr and Fayette Head Clerk Amy Revak signed
off on the requisition form privately the
controller's office to reimburse the full amount
in late 2017 for the cruise training that set sail
from Florida on January 7, 2018.
While approval for travel and training expenses
for elected officials is not subject to the same
scrutiny by commissioners as expenses for
county employees are, the coroner's cruise for
his staff and family should not have been paid
for from public funds. RANTS that
commissioners thought nothing of the cost,
paid it and never asked how related or
appropriate the specific cruise training was to
the jobs performed for the county.
RAVES of hope that the coroner reimburses the
county for the sweet vacation, minus the
training cost of $2,995. Certainly, the office of
the public defender could use some more
money, as well as the fund that needs boosted
to fix a small county bridge closed for several
years that affects four small Bullskin
RANTS because there are just too, too many
other worthy but neglected county obligations
for Fay to be paying for a fluff cruise vacation
that produced 14 hours of training that likely
has not much to do with the actual work of a
county coroner, office staff or deputy coroners.
(28 Apr 18)
April 25, 2018
Vicites, Lohr approved
$14K training cruise for
RANTS that Fayette County Commissioners
Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr approved
reimbursement of $14,366.73 to the county
coroner for a seven-day Caribbean cruise
training seminar for the coroner, chief deputy
coroner, assistant coroners, the coroner's office
manager and clerk.
The cruise seminar on the Holland America ship
was sponsored by the American Board of Legal
Medicine, a non-profit for lawyers who are
doctors or doctors who work within the legal
system. The ship sailed in early January of this
year. A peek at a more recent cruise seminar
included training on abortion, stem cell
research, HIPPA, euthanasia, and medical
malpractice, among others.
While the PA Code does not address keeping
costs of required continuing education credits
at a minimal cost for seasoned staff, Section §
199.22 of the PA Code addresses training costs
for newly hired staff.
"Costs for those persons statutorily required to
attend the Basic Education Course will be the
minimum necessary to pay the cost of
instruction, required course materials, and
room and board," as per the PA Code.
RANTS that the County of Fayette cannot afford
to pay for such sweet vacations for all of its
elected officials, their families and
departments. Yes, surely, we jest and have to
wonder if Vicites and Lohr even read the
requisition or considered asking the coroner to
send his crew for training at a more reasonable
venue and cost. (25 Apr 18)