Clausi claims Shoch is part of Northumberland County's 'destruction'
SUNBURY - Commissioner Vinny Clausi, who is recuperating quite well from recent surgery, returned to his chairmanship seat Tuesday in grand fashion by accusing fellow Commissioner Richard Shoch of "attacking" 15 current or former county officials, including himself, and destroying the county.
Clausi, who has been at odds with Shoch over many issues during their two-plus years together on the board, called Shoch a hypocrite for the way he votes on certain motions. Commissioner Stephen Bridy also criticized Shoch for allegedly misleading county citizens and lying.
Shoch admitted to having disagreements with county officials over the years, but didn't agree with Clausi that they were personal attacks.
He said some of his actions or comments toward county officials were justified, while some of Clausi's other accusations were "pure fabrication."
In addition to himself, Clausi accused Shoch of making life miserable for Bridy, the former late commissioner Merle Phillips, retired county judge Robert B. Sacavage, solicitor Frank Garrigan, assistant solicitor John Muncer, chief clerk Gary Steffen, human resources director Joseph Picarelli, grants manager Kathy Jeremiah, planning director Pat Mack, former budget director Jeff McClintock, assessment director Al Bressi, administrative assistant Janet Povish, former chief adult probation officer John David Wondoloski and former controller Tony Phillips.
He also claimed Shoch "attacked" Sunbury Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella and publisher Gary Grossman.
Clausi said Shoch has been part of the "destruction" of Northumberland County.
He said the commissioner put Jeremiah through "hell" over an audit conducted by the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that claimed she had a conflict of interest with a grant being awarded to her brother, Michael Faust.
Jeremiah previously said she had no direct connection to the grant being awarded to her brother, who had delinquent water and electricity bills paid through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing (HPRP) Program.
After the meeting, Clausi said, "The federal government did not find any criminal wrongdoing against Kathy or her brother."
Clausi also referenced alleged recent confrontations Shoch had with Steffen and Muncer.
Bridy told Shoch, "You are the one who is misleading the people. If you want to open your mouth, please have your facts straight."
Shoch replied, "I do have my facts straight."