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District attorney sues county executive, claims interference with promotions

By Jamie Peter, WFMZ.com Reporter, JPeter@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 03:36:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2013 02:06:42 PM CDT

Morganelli sues Stoffa, others

EASTON, Pa. -

Northampton County's top cop is telling the county executive to back off.

District Attorney John Morganelli filed a lawsuit against John Stoffa, the county executive, claiming Stoffa, Ross Marcus, the director of human services, and Thomas Harp, the director of administration, interfered with promotions within the district attorney's office.

Morganelli said Stoffa, Marcus and Harp did not authorize personnel changes, which in turn, blocked the promotion of two assistant district attorneys to "supervisory positions."

Morganelli's suit points to a portion of the home rule charter that says the policy is that "Northampton County recognizes that certain areas of final discretion over personnel matters should rest with those elected officials responsible for the management of their respective offices."

He continued to say the home rule charter, Northampton County administrative code and the Northampton County personnel policy and procedures manual label the DA's office as an independent, elective office and gives the office authority when it comes to its personnel matters.

Stoffa said Morganelli isn't following the county's home rule charter because he is creating new positions with the promotions.  He said only one position is available, and Morganelli is trying to promote two assistant DAs.  To do that, Morganelli would need county council approval. 

Stoffa said hopefully "more reasonable minds will take the weekend off and work on a resolution or solution. This is not the kind of case that should be cluttering up the courts."