Cumberland County Commissioners say Clerk of Courts used computer system for campaign
County says they’ve uncovered evidence of inappropriate use of county resources, shares findings with Attorney General
Cumberland County, PA – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has requested the state Attorney General review the actions of the Clerk of Courts for potential violation of State law, after additional documents surfaced during the County’s ongoing examination of computer system use.
Through an investigation conducted by the County’s Solicitor, documentation has shown a letter to the editor from the Clerks of Courts staff, urging voters to support Denny Lebo’s re-election, was originally crafted on a County-owned computer, during working hours, and was emailed for review using the County’s email system. A slightly modified version of the letter from the Clerks of Courts staff urging voters to re-elect Lebo was subsequently published by several media organizations.
The Commissioners said this and other information uncovered represents flagrant misuse of taxpayer resources for political campaign purposes. It is a violation of County policy and, potentially, a violation of law. The Commissioner’s provided a written reprimand to the Clerk of Courts on June 2 and initially referred their concerns to the District Attorney. Additional documents and a letter from the County’s Solicitor were submitted to the Attorney General on Friday, showing a pattern of misuse of County resources.
In a joint statement, the Commissioners said “It is very unfortunate we find ourselves in this situation. As an independently elected official, Mr. Lebo is accountable directly to the people of Cumberland County, not the County Commissioners. But it is our public that has an absolute right to know. This pattern of misuse of county resources, including equipment and staff time, in addition to our concerns of a possible violation of state law, cannot and will not be tolerated in Cumberland County. All of us as elected officials, have a duty and obligation to uphold the public trust and to blow the whistle when that public trust is being abused.”
The County’s Solicitor is continuing the investigation to determine if further action might be warranted.
SOURCE: Cumberland County Commissioners