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DuBois City Council explores payout, termination of Herm Suplizio


City Council Exploring Payout and Termination of Suplizio

DuBois City Council members approved a motion at Monday night’s meeting to determine the cost of buying out former City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio’s contract of employment.

Council indicated they would then decide on Suplizio’s official termination after the buyout figure was agreed upon.

The motion was met with criticism from several citizens who argued the Council should reprioritize its efforts for the good of DuBois citizens.

City Council nominee Jen Jackson said “The citizens of DuBois deserve the truth. Mr. Suplizio has grossly mismanaged the funds of this city.”

A motion was also approved to advertise the City Manager position.

Councilman Jim Aughenbaugh added that current Interim City Manager Chris Nasuti was strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

City Can Fund Pension Plan This Year, But Next Year?

Questions were raised as to whether or not the Council could adequately offer a balanced budget in light of Suplizio’s pending legal fees and a potential contract buyout which would include more than 30 weeks of paid time off.

Citizens argued that the pension funds to support uniformed city employees were lacking and remarked that any consideration of paying out the contract of former City Manager Herm Suplizio would be an insult to city employees who have invested in a pension.

Councilman Pat Reasinger confirmed the City was not operating at a deficit, but added that he did not consider the city’s budget to be appropriately balanced.

Reasinger said “Mr. Suplizio found money wherever he could. Loans were often refinanced to pay bills and that does not constitute an appropriately balanced budget.”

City “Not Low-Risk” Auditee Over 25 Years

Council Vice President Diane Bernardo shared information gathered from two auditing firms that consistently indicated the City of DuBois was not considered low risk in its financial record keeping and other matters of regularity.

The information, spanning the last 25 years, indicated the City of Dubois had considerable room for improvement in its financial stewardship, but funds were not allocated to support such an initiative.

Bernardo said “A material weakness occurred over time. I’m talking about 25 years of not listening to our auditors. Funds were placed in wrong accounts and checks were not recorded.”

Councilman Shane Dietz made a motion to explore hiring a Financial Director for the City with applications to be welcomed until August 31st.

Sandy Township Supervisor Sam Mollica reminded Council that it may not hire any new employees this year without approval of the Joint Board under the Consolidation Agreement.

The motion was accepted by the majority of the Council members.

City Police Lack Body Cameras

Bev Kurtz of DuBois asked Council why city police officers don’t wear body cameras, citing other cities in the region of similar size that have provided equipment to their police forces.

DuBois Police Chief Blaine Clark answered that the Department had previously received a grant to purchase body cameras but that funding was subsequently rescinded.

He added that the Police Department now needed to obtain a new source of funding to purchase the body cameras.