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Prison Warden Piazza to retire


February 19. 2013 8:31PM
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Luzerne County Prison Warden Joseph Piazza plans to retire at the end of this month, county officials say.
County Manager Robert Lawton also has hired Marisa Crispell-Barber as the new county election director, according to an email he sent to council.
Crispell-Barber will be paid $50,000 annually and start Dec. 10. She currently works for Wyoming County but has been temporarily overseeing Luzerne County's election office since interim director Tom Pizano's sudden retirement in October.
Pizano had agreed to add election bureau oversight to his duties as interim clerk of courts in April, after Leonard Piazza was terminated as election director.
Crispell-Barber, 33, of Dallas, has held various positions in Wyoming County.
Piazza, a retired state prison superintendent, was hired as county prison warden in February 2009, replacing Gene Fischi, who retired.
The prior county administration has praised Piazza for tightening up prison operations, reducing staff and obtaining positive prison inspections.
However, Piazza is expected to be grilled at tonight's council budget hearing about the recent discovery that some workers received free meals.
Piazza, of Pringle, said this afternoon he has been thinking about retirement for awhile, and the decision had nothing to do with the controversy over free meals.
He and his family are still struggling over the unexpected death of his 26-year-old son in March, he said.
It's been very stressful. I want to spend more time with my family, he said.


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