Thursday, July 10, 2014





Fill-in and ex-chief seeking voter spot


February 19. 2013 4:31PM
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WILKES-BARRE – The person temporarily filling the post applied to do it full-time; so did the person fired from it.


Acting Luzerne County Bureau of Elections Director Marisa Crispell-Barber confirmed Friday that she has applied to fill the post full time. Former Bureau Director Leonard Piazza, who was terminated from the position in April, also confirmed he applied for his old job.


Crispell-Barber came into the job barely a month before the election, essentially on loan from Wyoming County, where she is voter education director and voting machine administrator. Luzerne County is paying her $22.96 per hour plus benefits.


The deal was made at the start of October after interim bureau director Tom Pizano abruptly retired. Pizano had assumed the job upon Piazza's termination.


Crispell-Barber said the election went well with minor glitches. On Friday she and the board of elections sifted through nearly 400 provisional ballots, determining that about 42 will be added to the final tally, which will be certified Nov. 16. The totals will change, but I think the outcomes won't, Crispell-Barber said.


The election was hectic and the work load much heavier than in Wyoming County, where there were only about 21 provisional ballots, Crispell-Barber said. But she applied for the full-time job because I'm definitely interested in challenging myself and furthering my career.


She also noted she'll gladly return to her Wyoming County post if not selected to head Luzerne County's bureau.


Piazza declined comment beyond confirming he applied for the job. He was placed on paid leave April 5 and terminated about a week later. The county advertised for applications and received six, with only two meeting minimum requirements set for the post.


The requirements were changed, including a change in education requirements that made Crispell-Barber eligible, and re-advertised.


Election Board Chairman Jeremy Packard said only six applications were received again. The board is set to meet next week and is likely to interview finalists.




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