Commissioners Suing over Office Renovations
TOWANDA – The Bradford County Commissioners are suing another elected County employee. The Commissioners claim the prothonotary misused $18,000 in county money to renovate her office, putting up new partitions and cabinets.
“No, it was completely done outside of the realm of normal procedure,” said Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko.
Bradford County Commissioner McLinko says the three commissioners filed this lawsuit after learning county funds for a digitization project were spent for the office renovations. Conversations to resolve this issue have gone no-where.
“This particular office I have tried to work with for ten years and this to me has been the icing on the cake with a very difficult elected official,” said McLinko.
Sally Vaughn has worked in the Prothonotary’s Office for ten years, and says these upgrades were helping to prep the office – as they prepare to digitize records, upgrading the 30-year-old system.
But Financial Director Joan Sanderson says Vaughn had no authority to give the go-ahead on these improvements.
“The prothonotary does not have the ability to enter into agreement for anything, only the commissioners,” said Sanderson.
But the Bradford County Prothonotary says the thousands of dollars of renovations were necessary and done to protect the County.
The partitions will protect closed juvenile records from the public.
“That in itself saves the county a huge liability on a potential lawsuit so I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I was just trying to keep the office running,” said Bradford County Prothonotary Sally Vaughn.
This fight will cost taxpayers filing fees and hours of work from county employees. The Prothonotary has until late this month to file a response to the commissioners’ lawsuit.