Crispell Trip Probe Completed

February 20, 2019

Luzerne County administration has received the report it commissioned from a Harrisburg law firm about county elections director Marisa Crispell’s ties to a county vendor, and has taken corrective actions, according to county chief solicitor Romilda Crocamo. Crispell is still working for the county, Crocamo said. She declined to comment on any disciplinary action that might have been taken against Crispell or other county employees. Crispell in 2017 served on the advisory board of Election Systems & Software, which provided the voting machines the county has used for more than 10 years. The company, known as ES&S, also supplied the electronic poll book system the county purchased last year. Crispell traveled to two advisory board meetings, including one in Las Vegas, for which ES&S paid her travel expenses. When that was revealed in December, the county hired the law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick, LLC to conduct an investigation and determine if any violations of the county’s charter or administrative code took place. Crocamo received a report from the firm on Feb. 7, she said. County council members were shown a copy of the report and briefed on its contents during an executive session on Tuesday. Based on that report, county administration will institute mandatory training for county employees on state and county ethics regulations, Crocamo said. Also, a new policy states that the participation of county employees in conferences that require travel must be approved by division heads and county Manager David Pedri. Crocamo and county council Chairman Tim McGinley declined to provide details of the report and its conclusions, citing the need for confidentiality in personnel matters. At least one other investigation into the matter, conducted by the state auditor general’s office, is ongoing. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will issue a report on that investigation on Friday, according to a news release issued today.