SCRANTON -- In a surprise move, a Scranton city council member abruptly resigned at Thursday night’s meeting.
Jack Loscombe said he is stepping down immediately, despite the fact he has more than a year left in his term.
“Effective with the conclusion of this meeting, I will be resigning from my position as a Scranton city councilman," said Loscombe.
Jack Loscombe, one of Scranton's five council members, delivered this surprise statement during city council's meeting Thursday night.
After serving just over four years, Loscombe said he is stepping down immediately from his post as a city official, citing financial reasons.
“It has been no secret that I have faced financial difficulties since the seizing of my pension almost immediately after my appointment,” said Loscombe.
Loscombe, a retired Scranton fire captain, was appointed to council in January 2010 to replace then outgoing council member Bill Courtright.
But just one month into that appointment, it was discovered that a 1964 city ordinance prohibited retired fire fighters from receiving their pensions while serving as a lawmaker.
Loscombe took that loss of a $20,000 a year pension to remain on council, going on to win re-election in 2011.
Loscombe said his time on council was a labor of love.
“It's my passion, I wish I could stay here but financially, it has been a hardship,” said Loscombe. “I do feel that things are moving ahead so it's time for my financial recovery as I said.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with you, I know you care for the city and it shows with the financial hit that you took,” council vice-president Pat Rogan told Loscombe.
Now council will have to appoint a replacement and will seek out candidates.
“To take resumes, to interview, to narrow it down and come to some consensus,” said council solicitor Amil Minora.
“There is some precedent on how it's done, I was done through an appointment, Mr. Loscombe was done through an appointment as well,” said council president Bob McGoff.