Luzerne County offices that handle wills, marriage licenses, deeds and court records were restructured Monday with the ouster of two employees and appointment of two others.
County Judicial Services and Records Division Head Joan Hoggarth selected Pittston Township resident James Haddock to oversee the civil and criminal records offices for $47,500, resulting in the elimination of temporary manager Art Bobbouine, who had applied for the position.
Mary Dysleski, Kingston Township, will be paid $50,000 as manager of the wills and deeds office, which also handles marriage licenses and records involving estates, guardianships and adoptions. Donald Williamson, the interim director, was cut.
Interim county coroner William Lisman also will keep his position as permanent coroner at $45,000, Hoggarth said.
“With these appointments, I am confident the goals of the division will be met in a timely and efficient manner,” Hoggarth said in an email to county Manager Robert Lawton, who signed off on the appointments.
The reshuffling will save $125,118 in salaries annually compared to the staffing in place before the county’s January 2012 switch to home rule, Hoggarth said.
Four elected row officers — register of wills, recorder of deeds, clerk of courts and prothonotary — and four appointed deputies paid a combined $292,618 annually previously handled the duties now assigned to Hoggarth, Dysleski and Haddock for total compensation of $167,500, she said.
The full savings will be realized in 2014 because the county must pay elected Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski and Register of Wills Dorothy Stankovic until their terms end the end of the year.
Bobbouine and Williamson were instructed to stop work Monday morning and will be paid for two weeks. They could not be reached for comment.
Hoggarth said she followed the merit-based hiring process in the personnel code to fill the positions.
The county received 14 applications for the deeds/wills position, and three met minimum qualifications and were interviewed. Eight applied for the civil/criminal records position, with three qualifying for interviews. All four applicants for coroner were qualified and interviewed.
Hoggarth is still seeking and reviewing applications for sheriff, the final former elected row officer position in her division, and expects to fill the position within two months.
• Haddock, 50, will start work Oct. 7 and has worked as a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission fare collector since February.
He has 24 years of experience at several local and regional banks, including work as assistant vice president overseeing several branches simultaneously, and nine years of management experience with the State Workers’ Insurance Fund until August 2011, Hoggarth said.
Haddock does not have a college degree but graduated from the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s Advanced School of Banking and completed numerous college-level courses, Hoggarth said.
A former Avoca mayor, Haddock has resigned his post as the county’s Democratic Party Third District chairman.
Though Haddock’s name is a familiar one in Pittston-area politics, Hoggarth said she chose him solely for his management experience and skills creating policies, budgets, work standards and programs to improve training and customer service. Experience in civil and criminal records was not a requirement, she said.
“You need a strong management background. The specific functions of an office can be learned, but management skills can’t be,” Hoggarth said.
• Dysleski, 57, is a human services fiscal officer and interim human services division head and will start managing wills and deeds Oct. 21. Lawton is hiring a recruiter to find applicants for the division head position.
She has 14 years of county government management experience, including two prior terms as elected recorder of deeds until 2007, and previously worked as a title searcher for 13 years.
Dysleski, who also works as a part-time evening instructor at King’s College, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration.
As recorder of deeds, Dysleski cross-trained employees, streamlined operations and embraced technology, establishing the county’s first online recording of documents, Hoggarth said. The online access to land records initiated by Dysleski generates county revenue and boosted public access, she said.
• Lisman, 62, Mountain Top, has been overseeing the coroner’s office since last elected coroner John Corcoran’s term expired in January 2012.
He has worked for the Coroner’s Office since 1975 and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a funeral home management degree and is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State Police Academy’s County Coroner Education School.
Lisman runs a “financially lean” office while covering mandated services, Hoggarth said.
“His professional mannerism and the compassion shown to family members of the deceased under extreme emotional circumstances are well known throughout the county,” she wrote.