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Lackawanna County Officials Name New Chief Of Staff

February 26, 2019
Lackawanna County Officials Name New Chief Of Staff

Fran Pantuso will be Lackawanna County commissioners’ next chief of staff, she confirmed today.

Hired in March 2012, Pantuso brings a background in communications and a familiarity with county government to her new role. She was a community outreach manager at the county and began serving as assistant chief of staff in early October. Commissioners plan to officially announce Pantuso’s promotion tomorrow at a press conference in the fifth-floor conference room of the county’s government center at the former Globe store, 123 Wyoming Ave., Scranton.

Pantuso touted her strong rapport with county staff and said she is excited to continue working with them in her new job. She will earn an annual salary of $70,000 as chief of staff.

County General Counsel Donald Frederickson has served as acting chief of staff since June, when former Chief of Staff Andrew Wallace resigned amid a criminal investigation. Wallace was arraigned on indecent assault and harassment charges in July, and pleaded guilty to a count of attempted indecent assault in November.

Calling the chief of staff job a “full-time position,” Frederickson said he is ready to turn over those duties to Pantuso and fully devote his energies to his general counsel role once again. He said Pantuso has the ability and “institutional knowledge” to be a successful chief of staff.

Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, who sparred with fellow commissioners Patrick O’Malley and Laureen Cummings over Wallace’s hiring in the early days of their administration, said he likes Pantuso and called her “highly capable.”

However, Notarianni said he was “not part of the conversation” to promote Pantuso and that she is not his pick for the job.

“I think she’ll be fine,” said Notarianni, who also voted against creating the assistant chief of staff position at a county salary board meeting in October.

Efforts to reach O’Malley and Notarianni were not immediately successful.

Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter