Luzerne County Controller Michelle Bednar said she has terminated senior auditor Patricia Llewellyn in a “restructuring” of the office she took over earlier this month.
Llewellyn was hired by the county in January 2004 as an administrative assistant for then-Commissioner Greg Skrepenak, was promoted to a newly created budget/finance deputy chief job in 2006 and became senior auditor in the controller’s office in 2008.
Former controller Walter Griffith had approved a $4,000 raise for Llewellyn in July, which increased her pay to $49,619, arguing she merited an increase for twice performing additional duties when he had no deputy.
Bednar is down to one employee — a unionized auditor — because an internal audit clerk resigned over the county’s recent switch to 37.5-hour work weeks. Non-union employees, including the audit clerk, did not receive additional compensation for working more hours. Controller’s office employees were at 32.5-hour work weeks before the change, she said.
Bednar said she received 11 applications in response to her public advertisement seeking a deputy controller. The position was advertised at a salary of $45,000 to $50,000 and requires at least an associate’s degree in accounting, economics or business administration.
The deputy position has been vacant since Daniel Chipego resigned last spring.
Bednar is interviewing applicants and expects to select someone soon. The position was budgeted at $50,000, and Bednar said she will seek council approval if she believes the chosen candidate should be paid more than that amount.
Applications for the audit clerk position, which pays $25,000 plus benefits, will be accepted through Jan. 30.
Bednar said she will publicly advertise the senior auditor position after she prepares a job description. She expects a salary range from $35,000 to $45,000.
Four other posts
In another employment matter outside the controller’s office, applications were due Thursday for four county management positions that were re-advertised because the original published job advertisements left the impression bachelor’s degrees were required.
County Manager Robert Lawton downgraded the managers hired for these positions to temporary status until the administration determines if new qualified candidates applied for the jobs, which would prompt another selection process from scratch.
The impacted employees are Brian Szumski, who was appointed sheriff last month, and three managers selected by the administration in September: James Haddock, head of the prothonotary and clerk of courts offices; Mary Dysleski, who oversees wills, deeds and marriage licenses; and Coroner William Lisman.
The original advertisement said the management-level positions require a minimum of 5-7 years of directly related work experience and a bachelor’s degree, but the job descriptions said any equivalent combination of education, training and experience could be considered. Szumski and Haddock do not have bachelor’s degrees.
Administrative Services Division Head Dave Parsnik said the administration is reviewing the applications due Thursday and should have a status report on the receipt of any new ones on Monday.