Public reporting of Luzerne County government hirings and other personnel actions largely disappeared under home rule because the elected council is involved only in the appointment of the manager and eight division heads.
Under the prior government system, the elected commissioners handled personnel decisions and had to approve them at public meetings.
County Manager Robert Lawton has restored public disclosure of personnel matters by posting a monthly report on his section of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org.
Lawton’s first report, which was recently posted, lists new hires, pay adjustments, retirements, layoffs and other personnel changes that occurred in January, including those in the court and District Attorney’s Office.
The manager appoints, promotes, disciplines, suspends and removes employees in departments that are not controlled by the court, controller or district attorney.
According to the report, nine people were hired in January: Joseph Dessoye, John Kennedy and Angela Sperrazza, court administration judicial assistants, $30,000 each; Desiree Dymond, mental health caseworker, $32,116; Kerri Falls, Charis O’Connell and Beth Calpin, children and youth caseworkers, $31,764 each; Amanda DiPaola, district attorney clerk typist, $21,000; and Raymond Letcher, prison hearing examiner, $10 per hour.
Six court probation office employees were laid off during the month: Thomas Pepperling and Robert Rachilla, probation officers; Nina Altavilla, Kevin Perluke and Nicole Ciali, juvenile probation officers; and Rosalie Kalie-Stahl, restitution officer. All six had been paid $62,395 annually.
Furloughed security officer Edythe Vann, who receives $23,550, returned to work.
Alma McGarry, who is paid $59,685, transferred from an interpreter to a supervisor position in probation.
Three employees retired: Moon Lake Park foreman Paul Dietrich, custodian Joseph Mauriello and Flood Protection Authority Executive Director Jim Brozena.
Eight employees resigned: Nancy Restaino, agency on aging food service worker; Diana Matrone, senior center manager; Sarah Farley, children and youth caseworker; Andrew Lentowski, children and youth attorney; Richard Burns, interim mental health administrator; Mary Pamela Smith, security officer; and Edward Olexa and Christopher O’Donnell, part-time assistant district attorneys.
Lawton’s report also noted the 2013 union pay increases that took effect in various collective bargaining agreements: detectives, aging, children and youth, and mental health, 2 percent; court-appointed support workers, 2.5 percent; rank-and-file residual unit, $750 or 3 percent, whichever is greater; assistant public defenders/district attorneys, court-appointed professionals (primarily probation and domestic relations support officers) and the prison, 3 percent.