Sunday, July 13, 2014

Job ad glitch prompts new county interviews

February 03. 2014 11:16PM

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New applicants will be interviewed for two of four Luzerne County management positions that had been filled based on a flawed job advertisement, officials said.

County Manager Robert Lawton downgraded the managers in all four positions to temporary status last month and re-advertised the positions because the published job advertisement wrongly left the impression bachelor’s degrees were required.

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.

County Judicial Services and Records Division Head Joan Hoggarth said Monday she has conducted fresh rankings incorporating new resumes received for all four positions. Human resources blocked out names and other identifying information on the applications, she said.

She concluded new applicants should be interviewed for the sheriff and prothonotary/clerk of courts positions. The interviews should be completed in several days, she said.

Hoggarth said she is not conducting additional interviews for coroner or the wills/deeds/marriage licenses management position because the people hired still ranked far above other applicants in the new evaluation.

The administration has described the problem with the original advertisements as a human resources “proof-reading error.”

Re-advertising was necessary to ensure no candidates were overlooked or deterred from applying because they did not have bachelor’s degrees, Lawton has said.

The job descriptions listed a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification for each position but also stated any equivalent combination of education, training and experience could be considered. However, the initial advertisement said the management-level positions required a minimum of 5-7 years of directly related work experience and a bachelor’s degree.

Szumski and Haddock do not have bachelor’s degrees.

Szumski has an associate’s degree in criminal justice and police and sheriff state certifications and was hired at $45,000. He worked as a deputy sheriff and assistant unit coordinator in the sheriff ’s office since December 2006 until his promotion to sheriff lieutenant in April and to interim sheriff in September.

Haddock, who is paid $47,500, graduated from the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s Advanced School of Banking and completed numerous college-level courses. He most recently worked as a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission fare collector, has nine years of management experience with the State Workers’ Insurance Fund and 24 years of experience at several local and regional banks, including work as assistant vice president overseeing several branches simultaneously.

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