Shoch asked to pay for time he spent with lawyer, refuses
SUNBURY - Northumberland County Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy are requesting fellow Commissioner Richard Shoch pay a $420 bill he submitted to the county for reviewing depositions in the ongoing lawsuit filed by fired deputy sheriffs Michael Boris and Joseph Jones against the county.
Clausi, who provided the media with a copy of the bill at Tuesday's commissioners' meeting, made a motion to have Shoch reimburse the money, but the motion was never seconded or voted on after all three commissioners expressed their opinions on the matter.
Shoch said he was within his rights as a commissioner to submit the bill. "It's my prerogative and duty to keep informed of the various
lawsuits filed against the county, many of which Mr. Clausi is embroiled in," he said.
Shoch claimed Clausi and Bridy have submitted bills in the past to review depositions involving lawsuits with outside attorneys.
Shoch admitted reviewing the depositions with Attorney Michael M. Apfelbaum of Sunbury. According to a copy of the bill, the county was billed $420 for two conversations Shoch had with Apfelbaum pertaining to deposition transcripts on Nov. 15, and for two meetings he had with Apfelbaum to review the deposition transcripts on Nov. 16.
Bridy said Shoch received $300 in campaign contributions from Apfelbaum during the 2011 commissioners' race, which he and Clausi said indicated Shoch "pays people back" for their support.
Clausi said Shoch could have received the same information through county solicitor Frank Garrigan or his fellow commissioners. He accused Shoch of incurring the bill without the board's approval.
"I spent $80,000 of my own money on this lawsuit and I would appreciate it if you paid the money back," Clausi said, adding that Shoch previously tried to "smear" his reputation by saying Clausi should pay back money the county spent on the Jones/Boris lawsuit and money owed to the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Shoch responded, "I won't pay it," because he didn't need approval from the other commissioners. He said he didn't do anything wrong and encouraged the solicitor to research the matter.