County Commissioners are back to square one for the third time in their hunt for a new financial administrator, as another candidate has fallen through after being offered the job.
County Commissioners have been searching to find a replacement for former county financial administrator Ricardo Luckow, who was fired by Commissioners Tony Amadio and Dan Camp on March 8th. Commissioner Amadio had motioned to terminate Luckow after telling news media the Certified Public Accountant’s warnings about massive budgetary deficits were false — although independent audits and a state-funded study of the county’s finances had confirmed Luckow’s findings.
Commissioner Sandie Egley had voted against terminating Luckow at the time, calling him an asset to the people of Beaver County. Commissioner Egley was ousted as Chairman of the Board by Commissioners Camp and Amadio at the same meeting.
Following Luckow’s termination, Egley sought to publicly advertise the open position of financial administrator, but she was overruled by Commissioners Camp and Amadio, who brought forward a single candidate for the job. Amadio and Camp made a job offer to a New York man back in April to fill the vacant position, but Tim Boyde then turned down the job after the Beaver Countian revealed the two commissioners had not accepted any applications from the public. Boyde had been given only one interview before being offered the position — his resume had been brought in by Commissioner Amadio.
County Commissioners then advertised the open position and received several applications, although they ultimately determined only one candidate was qualified to fill the role. Commissioners offered Tracy Smith of Ohio the job late last month, but officials say she subsequently failed to respond to the offer by an established deadline.
The Board of Commissioners held two executive sessions on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the matter. Commissioner Tony Amadio stormed out of both meetings in frustration, according to two people who attended the private closed door sessions.
Without a financial administrator, Commissioners are largely in the dark about the current state of the county’s finances, and have no one to run budgetary projections at a time when the county’s Law Department is negotiating union contracts which will be in effect for the next three years.
Commissioners are not discussing the matter publicly.
County Solicitor Garen Fedeles confirmed to the Beaver Countian on Friday the search for a financial administrator continues. “The county is exploring all of its options, including possibly bringing in a temporary firm until we can get a permanent person into that position.”
The Commissioners had originally abandoned the possibility of contracting with a firm back in April. Cottrill Arbutina & Associates of Beaver expressed little interest in the work after meeting with Commissioners, and the Harrisburg-based Susquehanna Accounting & Consulting Solution told the county they would want approximately $265 an hour to do the job.
Although no longer employed by the county, Ricardo Luckow has continued to assist law enforcement personnel with their investigations into county government. Commissioner Egley has said she will not seek reelection at the end of her first term and has vowed to spend the remaining of her time in office helping to rid the courthouse of corruption.