Luzerne County Controller Griffith Wants Legal Action against Chamber

On 26.02.11, In Legal Industry, by Blake

02/26/2011

Walter L. Griffith Jr., the Luzerne County Controller, has requested the county commissioners Thursday to consider taking legal action against Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. This is allegedly due to the failure of the Chamber to put $950,000 in a county account formed by an agreement in 1993.

The county has agreed to be in charge of the maintenance of roads situated in Hanover Industrial Estates in Hanover Township. To finance traffic improvements on the roads, a special fund was established.

A subsidiary of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund, has agreed to deposit $6,000 into the fund for every acre bought by developers in the industrial park.

During the county commissioners’ meeting last Thursday, Griffith said, “We have an obligation to the taxpayers to find out why exactly they did not put that money in.” He also said, “I think we need to do whatever we need to do to get our money from the chamber. And I would always be willing to assist and use my subpoena power, as controller, to help.”

Griffith also said that the failure of the chamber to put more than $950,000 was “nothing short of fraud or thievery.” The motion to terminate the 1993 agreement, put before the commissioners last week, was not on the agenda.

According to Commissioner Stephen Urban, they took a positive step by taking the motion off the agenda. He also said, “I think we need to discuss this further with the solicitor.”

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