The Wyoming County Commissioners on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Steve Franko as public defender.
Franko had previously turned in his resignation to the salary board. It will become effective on June 1.
Commissioner Tom Henry said that Franko had not given a reason why he was stepping down.
After an executive session, the commissioners voted to hire Tim Michaels as Franko’s replacement.
Henry explained that Michaels has been serving as the county’s conflict attorney. This is an attorney who serves if the public defender is in conflict with a particular case.
Both Henry and Commissioner Judy Mead also voted to eliminate the conflict attorney position, following Michaels’ appointment. The court will now simply appoint an attorney should a conflict arise.
Commissioner Ron Williams was absent on Tuesday.
Henry also announced that the public defender’s job will now be a county position. Previously, Franko was contracted to serve as public defender.
Michaels’ salary will be set by the salary board when it next meets on May 24.
Solicitor Paul Litwin reported that Michaels has indicated he would be willing to take a salary of $70,000 per year.
Henry and Mead praised the efforts of the county maintenance department for recently setting up a new flag pole at the front of the county courthouse. The old flag pole, he said, is located at what used to be the front of the courthouse. It was decided to erect a new pole because of celebrations such as Memorial Day ceremonies.
The old flag pole will eventually be removed. Henry said the Pennsylvania Master Gardeners will be putting plants at the location.
The commissioners also voted to accept the resignation of the following people:
*Alyssa Mowery, a guard at the jail, effective May 4.
*Christopher Cadugan, an adult probation officer, effective May 11.
*Joshua Burton, a guard at the jail, effective May 10.
The commissioners approved the hiring of Corey Case and Shannon Evans as two part-time cooks at the jail, effective May 14.
There were several documents concerning Community Development Block Grants being overseen by the Housing Authority requiring signatures. Henry asked during the meeting if he has the authority to sign them, or if the commissioners should vote on the matter.
Chief Clerk Bill Gaylord explained to Henry that his signature is merely a formality. The CDBGs were previously approved by the commissioners when they were applied for.