Payment for authorised opinion called into doubt in Upper Burrell
Updated 5 hours ago
An Upper Burrell proprietor questioned either a municipality should have paid for a authorised opinion per supervisors Chairman Ross Walker.
Ron Slabe of Angelcrest Drive objects to a municipality profitable for a opinion finished by Solicitor Steve Yakopec. The opinion endangered either Walker could opinion on municipality ordinances per gas good drilling given Walker sealed a franchise for skill he owns with a drilling association final year.
“Why wasn’t it certified by a board?” Slabe asked. “It was a cost of hundreds of dollars to a taxpayers, and it was for a advantage of one person: you, Ross.”
He suggested that Walker compensate a cost out of his possess pocket.
The opinion, that Walker pronounced cost a municipality $500, was given in July. Yakopec resolved Walker could opinion on ubiquitous issues, including a subject of a stretch between gas wells and houses.
Yakopec said, underneath a state Ethics Act, if an inaugurated central is influenced by a due law in a same approach or to a same grade as each other member of a identical organisation of people, he or she can opinion but carrying a dispute of interest.
Thus, Yakopec reasoned, Walker would be influenced no differently by a ordinances than any other skill owners in a residential-agricultural zoning district or other landowners with healthy gas leases.
Slabe, a outspoken competition of Marcellus shale gas drilling, asked how a opinion was authorized. Walker pronounced he asked Yakopec for an opinion.
Yakopec pronounced a ethics laws yield for a municipality administrator to ask a municipality’s barrister for a authorised opinion.
However, he added, “Typically, when we are going to spend money, we should opinion on it.”
Supervisor Pete Dombroski removed when a contention took place during a assembly final spring, Dombroski settled Yakopec should yield an opinion.
Yakopec took emanate with Slabe’s evidence a opinion benefitted one person. He pronounced his opinion states a same logic concerning Walker’s appearance would be in outcome for Dombroski or Supervisor Allen Uhler if applicable.
“I did an opinion to strengthen a whole board,” he said. “My pursuit is to strengthen my board, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Slabe says a matter should have been put to a vote.
Yakopec told a supervisors they could endorse a movement by ratifying a authorisation of a authorised opinion with a grave vote, that they did.
Walker also forked out to Slabe he had sought a authorised opinion on a matter directly from a state Ethics Commission. However, a commission’s profession pronounced she couldn’t yield one since Walker formerly had open discussions about a issue.
Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.