BROOKVILLE — The probe by the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission into the activities of the Jefferson County Commissioners has grown quiet following an initial round of interviews.
Jefferson County Commissioners Jeff Pisarcik and Jack Matson said, they, and several staff members at the courthouse, had been interviewed by the Commission but Commissioner Herb Bullers had has “several” phone conversation but has “never sat table to table” with the Commission.
The investigation was the result of a complaint filed by former county commissioner Dave Black.
Black alleged the commissioners violated the Pennsylvania Ethics Act when they awarded the contract to clean up the courthouse to SERVPRO of Clarion, Jefferson and Forest Counties, a company owned by Commissioner Bullers.
SERVPRO was called to the courthouse on the evening of Feb. 13, 2016 when one of the control valves on the heating system froze, causing a water line to rupture. The county paid SERVPRO $12,505.49 for the service.
At the Feb. 23 commissioners meeting Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik said he and Commissioner Jack Matson made the call to involve SERVPRO. Bullers abstained from voting. Bullers also abstained from voting on the payment of the bill from SERVPRO.
Black said, according to the Ethics Act, “No public official or public employee shall engage in conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest.” Black said any abstention must be submitted in writing stating the reason for the abstention.
The penalty for a financial interests statement violation commits a misdemeanor and could be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year or both. Damages could be trebled
Pisarcik said earlier that the commissioners elected to employ SERVPRO because the firm had been utilized previously at the courthouse.
Pisarcik said last week that it was his understanding that the commissioners would not hear anything form the Commission but additional correspondence would be with the owners of SERVPRO.