Accounts payable

Judge dismisses Lycoming County Commissioners’ motion to charge Controller with contempt

WILLIAMSPORT – The Lycoming County Comptroller was delighted to learn that a judge on Friday refused to hold her in contempt of justice as requested by the commissioners.

“I’m thrilled,” said Krista B. Rogers after hearing about the decision.

Commissioners requested the contempt ruling on the grounds that Rogers interfered with an April 20 court order related to the transfer of four of its employees to the Bureau of Budget and Finance.

Potter County Senior Judge John Leete, who was specially assigned, dismissed the contempt motion, calling it vague.

To be successful, the commissioners would have to show more than non-compliance and that was not done, the judge wrote.

Leete in July dismissed the Commissioners’ lawsuit against Rogers without questioning whether they had the power to transfer employees from another elected incumbent.

As a result, payroll, accounts payable and general ledger operations and four employees transferred from the controller remain in the budget and finance office under the control of the auditors.

The commissioners’ lawsuit claimed that Rogers was interfering with the transfer and they alleged that she threatened to withhold her required signature on paychecks and accounts payable and hide or not hand over the files.

Rogers argued the transfer was illegal, called it a takeover, and maintained that the comptroller was responsible for budget, treasury and debt management functions.

After weighing testimony from two days of hearings and pleadings in briefs, Leete quashed his April 20 restraining order against Rogers and refused to issue the preliminary injunction requested by the commissioners.

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