Commissioner responds to accusations of misusing county money

SUNBURY — Northumberland County Commissioner Rick Shoch is responding to accusations by fellow commissioner Vinny Clausi that Shoch misused county money for consulting. On Tuesday, Clausi said Shoch owed the county $420 for consulting with attorney Mike Apfelbaum regarding the Boris and Jones Lawsuit.

 

Shoch said he has a right as a commissioner to look into matters involving litigation that we are involved in. He said, “That particular litigation is being handled by attorneys other than our solicitors. I often will ask solicitors for the matters that they are handling for information. In this case, it was an outside attorney who was handling it. Basically I contacted attorney Apfelbaum and asked him to make the depositions available to him.”

 

Shoch said he will talk to Apfelbaum about the billing to see if that can be adjusted. Shoch said he was there to find out some of the specifics about litigation that the county is involved in. He said, “We are potentially on the hook for a quite a substantial amount of money.

 

Commissioner Stephen Bridy responded to Shoch’s actions. Bridy said, “As a commissioner, I first go for any legal advice to our solicitors. I talked to Solicitor Muncer and he said he could have made a phone call and had things emailed or faxed over and it wouldn’t have led to near that amount of money.”

 

Clausi agreed and said commissioners cannot use county money without authorization first. (Ali Stevens)