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Feds make a stop at Pittston Area

Feds make a stop at Pittston Area

PA Board Member Terry Best
   UPDATE – Wednesday, April  15th; 9:00AM:
   Pittston Area Solicitor Joe Saporito has confirmed the FBI paid a visit to the district Tuesday, April 14th.
   “The FBI served a subpoena requesting minutes dating back to April of 2004,” Saporito said.
   “There were other documents,” he noted, “however, we can not disclose what they were looking for because it our policy not to discuss legal matters.”
   He further said, “The board is cooperating fully, however, we also cannot discuss the details because we do not want to compromise the investigation.”
  Saportio was uncertain if what the FBI requested fell under the Pennsylvania Open Records Law.  He said we would follow up on that and get back to us.
   “When I go home to bed tonight, I can lay my head down on my pillow and rest peacefully.” Pittston Area Board member Terry Best said when he was asked if the feds were at the district Tuesday afternoon.
   “I can confirm they were there, however, I’ve been directed by our superintendent to refer all inquires to our solicitor, Joe Saporito,” Best said when asked what they were looking for.
   A Tuesday afternoon blog on PittstonPolitics.com suggested the FBI came to the high school.  The blog was not approved and prompted our query to Best.  .
   While we will not mention names, the blog said the feds requested invoices and billing records of two specific vendors. 
   It also said the feds obtained all the minutes dating back to 2003.
   Last week the FBI set up a “hotline” for concerned citizens to call in.
   On the Steve Corbett show, one FBI agent said while their main intent was to obtain information about selling jobs, anyone who had information with irregularities was encouraged to call.
   Calls were placed to Saporito Tuesday at 6:55 PM.  Once we receive a call back, we’ll get Attorney Saporito’s comments

Member Opinions:
By: Bobboo on 4/14/09
As surely as Monday follow Sunday, I have no doubt that Terry Best is as pure as the driven snow. There is no way that he did anything worng or condoned anything that was done wrong. I wonder if the Feds will look into jobs obtained by school directors for themselves while in office? They might want to check and see if job credentials were changed for certain job applicants.

By: Pariah on 4/14/09
You want my opinion huh? The chicken has come home to roost! I am a pittston area grad and export, shamefully watching and waiting for something like this to happen. I hope they slap widespread RICO indictments on all their asses!

By: traveler on 4/14/09
Say it not so JOE...boy how long have we been waiting for this. I would not want to be a Pittston Area School Director right now. Pariah, great post I could not have said it better. It is time for some serious new school directors to be elected into office to clean house once and for all.

By: Ktm858 on 4/14/09
I am sure that the FBI will leave no stone unturned. For those of you that have something to hide get ready because the FBI is coming like a freight train! It's a shame too soo close to election day. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

By: sameoldstuff on 4/15/09
Let's not count the chickens before they hatch. If something illegal is found, it will be a black spot on our school district and lets remember that includes teachers and students, not just the school directors. There will be enough to say if something is found, don't jump on a "smear before we know bandwagon".

By: BibleB on 4/15/09
Federal investigations are brutal.
(Galatians 6:7)states, Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Honesty should be the best policy for the politician. A careful examination of the facts regarding the conduct of school directors, administrators, teachers, and all employed by the Pittston Area School District will bring forth the truth. Credibility and honesty are extremely important. Wisdom and instruction of moral and ethical conduct would benefit a lot of individuals at Pittston Area. Scandal and political manipulation that violates the public trust leads to hardship and possibly a Jail cell. Being a former correctional officer, I would not like to see even a dog go to jail. Who ever wishes any individual jail time, especially the innocent has got a wicked, evil, mind. Do not be judgmental.
(James 2:13) Mercy triumps over judgment. Let us hope this Federal investigation will straighten out attitudes regarding wheeling and dealing political moves. Make every effort to scrutinize all school director candidates and vote for the best candidates.
Let us never forget and always remember
(Proverbs 22:8)R.S.V. He who sows injustice will reap calamity.

By: jronid on 4/15/09
We should not get ahead of ourselves. We don't know what will come of this, but, personally, I believe now is the time to hear the reaction of ALL school board candidates - those on the board and those not. This is embarrassing to all residents of Pittston Area School District. No one wants the FBI investigating. I am curious what all the candidates have to say.

By: LOSTKEY54 on 4/15/09
I agree that we should not jump to conclusions. We need to wait and see what,if anything is found. But as the old adage goes "where there's smoke there's fire". With the election moving closer this is the time for everyone to carefully consider the canidates and their qualifications. Do we sit back and accept the status quo or do we elect new individuals who are not part of the policital machine.

By: hunternik on 4/15/09
traveler, Are you this involved in the district in which you now reside????

As housewife said in an earlier post, she knows it went on but years ago...
And for once I agree with her in saying that, IT MAY HAVE happened years ago! BUT just because they are investigating NOW - DOES NOT mean that anyone on the sitting board is guilty.

For all we know, maybe someone is guilty, but you Political maniacs are twiddling your thumbs with a smile on thinking that board members you dislike are finally getting their pay back, but nothing is known yet.

So, you people should get off your high horse until facts are stated.

By: ABOVETHEREST on 4/15/09
Well voters this is your chance now to make a change... OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW! im not saying that all the members on the board are corrupt b.c i truly believe there are some good ones... but who out weighs who is the real question!

By: Warriors82 on 4/15/09
Joe, I'm glad to see this is getting into the school districts and if and when they knock on the front doors of Wyoming Area, I would pay to see the look on some of the school director's faces, ooh, and of course Bernardi's too. I'm not going to jump the gun here and make accusations, but if there is corruption at any school district involving the hiring of teachers and/or faculty, then everyone who applied and got denied the job should sue for discrimination. It's called equal employee opportunity, which they didn't receive. Violation of there rights. Thanks.

By: guyfawkes022 on 4/15/09
"It was always like this." "This is how things we're always like." That's all I hear when there's talk of the day to day injustices that have been common practice for the Pittston Area School Board for far too long. Does that make it right? Should we just sit back and let the next generation decide whether or not they want to do something about this type of corruption and love of a lousy buck? The truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this system. And we still live in a country where we can object, to think and speak as we see fit. Yet so few do. So, to those of you worrying that this type of attention will put a black eye on our community; if your looking for somebody to blame, you need only look in the mirror. If you have doubts and need further proof that a hard rain is about to fall, take a look at the numerous plain clothes G-men that are prowling the neighborhood, and ask yourself why would they even make they're presence known if they didn't have an objective in mind? Past and present targets in mind perhaps?
I get it. I understand why you don't want to speak up. Apathy and indifference is a perfect solution. Well I for one am sick of living in a town that treats apathy like it was some kind of virtue. Change is needed and it needs to begin at the core. In small suburban communities like this before it can ever reach out to our country as a whole.

By: robert on 4/15/09
Well put guyfawkes. Another black eye, for a good school district.

Bob Lampman
Pittston Twp

By: ericvillano on 4/15/09
Wholeheartedly agree with guyfawkes022.- "A penny for the guy!" The status quo, politics as usual has got to change before our children inherit a perpetual debt beyond control. Apathy must cease in order to run Luzerne County and local School Districts more like a business, rather than a continual "Mardi Gras," and bastian for corruption, nepotism and rampant cronyism run amuck.

When will people finally wake up and realize that thier attitudes regarding all of this corruption is why we continue to witness a "Mass Exodus of our Youth?"

By: BibleB on 4/16/09
Joe Valenti your website is effective that it is getting people involved in the structure that governs their lives--politics. Who is this guyfawkes022? This guy is a sly fox bitting at the heels of corruption. Let me emphasise this. It is a sad situation, but sadly I believe he is absolutely right. Eric your right this School District is a bastian for corruption, nepotism, and rampant croynism run amuck. Apathy and lack of fortitude is the reason the politician runs amuck. Corruption in the sense that there is a lack of ethics and morals in hirings because of nepotim and rampant croynism. Justice will prevail, justice is the key to life. Look at the magnificent words of the Apostle St. Paul--(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
(Psalm 31:24) Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

By: marioandretti on 4/16/09
i am almost completely naked!

By: traveler on 4/16/09
I guess this is what they call Progress. Voters beware, you can make a change in May.

By: jonQpublic on 4/16/09
With two INCUMBENTS on your school board team you should be worried traveler!!

By: hunternik on 4/16/09
This has nothing to do with the Progress team TRAVELER.

keep your mouth shut

By: traveler on 4/16/09
JonQ I don;t think so. See when you are in the minority it is hard to get things done. Lets look at the majority then we can find out who is on thin ice. You will see that in the next couple of days.

By: WATCHINGU on 4/16/09
Let's look at this realistically. Does the current board members particularly the
incumbents that are running for re-election
think that the general public believes that they had no knowledge of wrong doing or didn't at least suspect someting. Do we
really want to re-elect individuals who couldn't see what was happening right in front of their faces.

By: callitaspade on 4/16/09
Watchinu Maybe if you stop and think about it that why this is happening its because people took a stance and made it stop. they got the right people involved and they did not need FIVE VOTES!

By: marioandretti on 4/16/09
what's with all this scripture???

By: Ram1 on 4/16/09
I am disappointed Bible Buck did not give Terry Best a pat on the back for standing up for what is right for P.A.. Bible Buck danced your readers through the forest on claiming wrong is wrong. Big Deal! I would love to have nine Terry Best's on my school board because I would have a school board where the kids and taxpayers come first. How many of the so-called "political moral majority" bigwigs ever complained about the way Terry Best and his wife brought up their children and how their kids and many others made P.A. shine with their academic achievements . Terry tried to introduce his son to being a public servant, only to be ridiculed by the same ugly machine who backed Rossi and they will now turn away from him.
How many of those in power backed so-called (Doctor)Ross Scrantino for Superintendent knowing he was "one of the boys"and they are holding high offices? They couldn't shine Terry Best's shoes with any objective crowd with an ounce of Intelligence.
I must laugh at those who blame Best for sprilling the beans. Did they ever hear of state audits or other directors from school districts being investigated? I would sue the pants off those who defied, slandered or falsely accused Best's character if I were in his shoes. He just opposed the bullshit that was going on for too long because of all the egomaniacs who thought they were Tony Ferraros.
Terry Best will be the best Schoolboard President Pittston Area will ever have and I'll be there to hear a gentleman who will finally restore Integrity and Patriot Pride at Pittston Area.

By: ericvillano on 4/17/09
Amen to that, Russ.

By: Politico on 4/17/09
Hats off to you Mr Best, I watched the news tonight and in tipical politician style i see directors saying don't look at me, but Mr Best rather than point fingers at others he asks himself what could he have done differently or how could he have stopped it, and i have to say that it was the most refreshing thing i have seen sense this disaster has began.

I say disaster because most people are all excited that the bad boys are getting their punishment but the real victims here will be the students and now we can add another black eye to our county. Someone made a joke about how we get to be on 20/20 again and that is upsetting to think about. I for one would love to make national news for being a area that stands out for its qualities rather then its political scandals.

By: BibleB on 4/17/09
Come on Russ, do not be a trouble maker and be realistic. Terry Best is my friend I always voted for him. In fact I was displeased when he contemplated to run for Pittston City Council because he would have to leave the School Board.
Let me give Terry Best the magnificent advice coming from the Apostle St. Paul.
(1 Corinthians 15:33) Do not be misled;
"Bad company corrupts good character."
Russ-- I will always claim wrong is wrong and hope Terry does not get deceived, and gets rid of the wolves in sheep's clothing that could bring him to the broad road that leads to destruction. Anybody thats stands up for justice and righteousness should get a tap on the back.

By: Hacks-All-of-U on 4/17/09
I can't wait to see who else will join the good doctor because this is only the beginning. This crap has gone on too many years and too many highly qualified teachers were forced to leave the area because the jobs were filled by relatives of board members less qualified. These nepotism practices destroyed the quality of education our children received. What a nice legacy school board both past and present had left the citizens of Greater Pittston.

By: barb on 4/17/09
Since everyone agrees that Terry is so great for the school board maybe he should withdraw his Pittston Council candidacy and stick around the school district to straighten things out, then maybe I will have a chance to give Pittston's fine citizen some PARKS with real facilities and plygrounds to make our lives more enjoyable. Thanks BARB Zangre
Pittston City Council

By: TaxpayerofPA on 4/17/09
What is wrong with the quality of education in this area? Check the facts, buddy. We are still high up there on the lists of achievement for the state. 20/20 should a special on how evil the residents of the Wyoming Valley are. You people are vultures. Stand back and watch with your eyes wide open and your minds clear. Wait until it sweeps the other districts... Oh what will you say after that?

By: housewife on 4/18/09
Hunternik, this has a lot to do with the Progress team. Ross was a big supporter of this Progress ticket. Why do you think Joe Oliveri is on the board at Vo-Tech. Every rally that the Progress team had there is Ross, Tony Rostock , Tony Testa, Joe Oprindick. Tony Rostock has the nerve to get up at a Rally and bad mouth Bob Linskey. Lets see who is laughing now. HE HE HA HA

By: FrankShab on 4/19/09
OK with everyone here lamenting this pathetic situation, I'm sure its been burnished into everyone's memory.
Now the question is; WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Educate yourself about all the candidates running.Don't limit yourselves to just the Pittston Area School Board race. The tentacles of the organiztional monster reach into the municipalities where we all live.
Yep (full dislosure/transparency here)it's my son who is running in Pittston Township for Tax Collector against a multi-term incumbent and the very organiztional monster I mentioned previously.
We have the power, and don't you forget it!
Now, right now, this election is the time to send a message to the organizations who take eveyone for granted that we/you are fed up and are not going to take it any longer.
In Pittston Township we lost a true champion for the taxpayer, Tony Attardo. Did Tony have his detractors? Of course, and anyone even remotely connected with local politics knows who was aginst him.
Ironically, the very people who were against him politically, as he implemented his taxpayer-friendly programs, benefitted as well from the programs.
Prioe to 1997 the Political Royal Families (that's my moniker here)only received the benefits.
Tony ended that,and everyone,as I mentioned previously, even his enemies received the benefits.
Now that he's gone, we who remain must be the vanguard against the tentacle of the organizational monster who has returned to Pittston Township and seeks to return to the old ways of political royalty.
Think first and then send a message with your vote against the organizational monster.

By: ericvillano on 4/19/09
Frank, you are so right, regarding the "Organizational Monster," and also in regards to the loss of our good friend, Tony Attardo. He was always receptive to the concerns of all people in the twp, and will be sadly missed.

Favoritsm and taking political sides with one faction over another is never fair, moral or just, regardless of which faction is the recipient.

"Royalty" is a good word to describe these local "dynasties." I call it 18th century cronyism and medevial serfdom. Either way, regardless of what you call it, it's got to end. And that's not limited to school board, but all elective offices including the one your son is running for. The status quo, politics as usual that is reserved for certain individuals, and limits open interaction of all residents is like a monarchy or dictatorship.

Matt Sciabacucci is a brilliant, highly educated candidate, experienced, exceptionally qualified, and not part of the, "cushy country-club establishment," and politics as usual, all to common in this region. I wish you well, Frank, and your son Matt. Best Wishes and Warm Regards, Eric

By: Bobboo on 4/19/09
Oh Pleazzzzzzzzzz! Stop the insanity. What political organization are you thinking about? There is NO organization and there hasn't been any during the past 15 years. Who is the boss? Who are the soldiers? Give me a break and stop with the same old tired out cliches.

There is not one person serving the people of Pittston Twp. who is part of a machine. The only comparison I can make bewteen the current office holders in the Twp. and a machine is that they both work! In fact, the office holders work better than the machne becauswe the machine has been broke and non existent for years. Either get new sayings or simply shut up! I'm tired of hearing about the "machine". By the way, if there was a machine, why isn't Johnny still a Supervisor? Reason ....... NO MACHINE!

By: shamrock on 4/19/09
I would like to add that Rita Timonte, the current Tax Collector is qualified and has carried out her duties with the utmost professionalism. With that being said, I also know Matt Shab the challenger who is a young energet well qualified candidate. The difference is you dont see the Timonte family slamming the opposition as Matts dad is doing. Calling Rita an "Organizationaal Monster is just totally classless. Matt tell your father to shut his mouth and leave the decision up to the voters.

By: JenkinsTwp on 4/21/09
Why the year 2004 isn't that the year of the bad judges I would like to know how many Pittston Area Students went in front of Circuit Court. hope this voting year we dont forget and vote these bums out and get new people in if they dont work out we must try again

By: JenkinsTwp on 4/28/09
Southerton or Noone don't stop and make our area look bad later keep going clean it all up. nice job TY

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