SUNBURY - Northumberland County Commissioner Stephen Bridy Monday issued the following statement on the row officer lawsuit:

"I would like to set the record straight concerning the recent press articles on the row officer lawsuit. First, Judge Grimes already made his decision last November when he entered the order granting the preliminary injunction to prevent the decrease in salaries. Within 30 days of that order, our attorneys appealed his ruling to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

"When a party appeals a lower court judge's order, the judge is given the opportunity to write an opinion explaining the reasons for his ruling. This is what we have been waiting for the past eight months. We needed the judge's opinion so the case could proceed further in the appellate court. Again, the judge's opinion was not a new ruling in the case, just his explanation for his ruling, which I obviously disagree with.

"Since he has finally issued his opinion, we are now in a position to better assess our appeal, and I look forward to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania finally hearing the appeal.

"Our actions demonstrate how seriously we take lawsuits filed against the county. In addition, as a result of our diligence and actions the past several years, we were able to increase our blanket insurance coverage an additional $1 million, while having our premium drop $50,000, all good news for our taxpayers. In addition, and the best news of all, is that our deductibles have dropped from $85,000 to $15,000 for employee-related cases and from $25,000 to $15,000 in other matters. Again, these savings will greatly benefit our citizens. Everyone knows that insurance companies do not increase your coverage, decrease your deductibles and premiums, unless you are doing something right.

"We are fortunate that our human resources director, Joseph Picarelli, was a former insurance agent who still is licensed, and through his knowledge, hard work and dedication, we were able to secure these tremendous savings and benefits for our citizen taxpayers."