Luzerne County Chief Clerk/Manager Sam Guesto’s has been taking some time off and hasn’t been as involved in day-to-day county business.
Insiders speculate that Guesto may be planning to leave on his own – perhaps as early as today – because of expectations that he may not be retained to the prominent and very public position.
Guesto kept up appearances at last week’s work session but has declined to comment on his plans.
His colleague, county Public Information Officer Kathy Bozinski, is set to be terminated at today’s 10 a.m. commissioner meeting.
Guesto is viewed by many as the poster boy of the county debit card scandal because he signed off on the expenditures and did not follow a policy that called for collection of receipts and public approval.
County minority Commissioner Stephen A. Urban has called for the resignation of Guesto and others involved in debit card spending, saying public trust won’t be restored until “the people that were involved move on.”
Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla supports Bozinski’s termination but has declined to state her position on Guesto’s employment.
Commissioner Greg Skrepenak, the previous chairman, has said that he is concerned that Guesto may not be retained. Skrepenak has said he believes Guesto was a good worker who took heat because they are close friends.
Guesto is believed to be interested in a newly created court management position, though Court of Common Pleas President Judge Mark Ciavarella said the job hasn’t been promised to anyone and that all applicants will be considered.
Applications for that court job were due Tuesday. Court Human Resources Director Paul McGarry said he had received 19 applications as of Tuesday afternoon. McGarry said he will schedule interviews for the position over the next few days.
Personnel changes are possible because Petrilla said there won’t be a majority-minority anymore. She ran with Skrepenak, a fellow Democrat, in November but said she will treat Skrepenak and Urban as equals and decide each vote on its merit.