VIDEO HERE: Judge responds to commissioner allegations
Raw video of some of Judge Sacavage’s press conference:
SUNBURY – Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage took about an hour Tuesday to respond to allegations made by Commissioner Rick Shoch. Shoch had said former adult probation chief John Wondoloski received unemployment benefits, even though he had retired and not been terminated.
Tuesday, Sacavage said Shoch’s “conspiracy theory” does not add up. “I think that Mr. Shoch came up with a curious theory after he found out Mr. Wondoloski had been receiving benefits. It is a mistake that it often made by rookie investigators. They come up with a theory then they find out they have to have facts to support the theory. If they don’t have the facts, they start to embellish it.”
Sacavage says Wondoloski applied for unemployment after his position was terminated. Sacavage says he had no conversations with anyone, including Commissioners Vinny Clausi or Stephen Bridy, concerning Wondoloski’s position. At the time, Sacavage says the consolidation of the adult and juvenile probation departments was taking place and there was a restructuring of positions.
Sacavage questioned Shoch’s motive on bringing up the issue during a public meeting, months after, rather than having a conversation with Sacavage himself first. “An apology would be a good first step. I am not litigious or suing anyone. I am a public official, I have been accused over the years of various things and my way of dealing with it is address it straight up. If he has investigations, I welcome them. I have nothing to hide. I have documentations and a room full of people to support exactly what happened. He has guesswork.”
Clausi and Bridy both spoke during the meeting in favor of Sacavage, thanking him for his comments. Shoch was present at the meeting for about 40 minutes, when he had to leave for another appointment. Sacavage asked that Shoch, who is the commissioner liaison for the courts, be relieved of that duty. (Sara Bartlett)