Richard P. Swarcheck has been reinstated as the Mahoning Township tax collector until the end of the year.
During the Carbon County commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Daniel Miscavige, county solicitor, announced that the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas confirmed a petition filed Tuesday by attorney Thomas S. Nanovic, on behalf of Eugene S. Durigan, chairman of the Mahoning Township Vacancy Board, that requested Swarcheck be reinstated to his post as township tax collector.
The petition stated that the reason for the reinstatement was because Swarcheck's "health has improved." He will now serve for the remainder of his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2013. Swarcheck will be relinquishing the position to Pauline Homm, who defeated him in the Primary Election earlier this year and went on to win a four-year term starting in 2014.
Miscavige said that Swarcheck is again available for the collection of taxes and anyone with questions or concerns regarding taxes through Dec. 31 or any issues of the payment of taxes that may have been made from September through now, should contact him.
Swarcheck resigned the position on or about Oct. 21, due to health reasons.
The township supervisors were then required to find a replacement within 30 days, but were not able to. It was then the responsibility of the Mahoning Township Vacancy Board to find a replacement within 15 days, but it also failed to find a replacement.
Under Section 407 of the Second Class Township Code, if neither party appoints a replacement, the chairman of the vacancy board shall petition the court of common pleas to fill the vacancy.
According to an article that appeared in the TIMES NEWS on Wednesday, while Swarcheck was incapacitated, the township, Lehighton Area School District and Carbon County received numerous complaints and question calls from taxpayers who were unable to pay their taxes during that time.
Meanwhile, the Lehighton Area School District began collecting its own taxes from Mahoning residents while the township and county took no formal action, although they discussed options and legalities concerning the matter.
The recent turmoil concerning payment of taxes because of Swarcheck's health issues is the second time this year the taxpayers were met with uncertainty.
In May, his office was closed for days before the discount period deadline, prompting public outcry, and residents later learned he had been hospitalized.