Embattled Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Stephen M. Lukach Jr. at 4:15 p.m. today faxed a copy of his resignation letter to his first deputy, Paul Steffanic.

Steffanic immediately took the letter upstairs to President Judge William Baldwin, who called Gov. Tom Corbett’s office, then faxed the letter to Corbett.

Once the governor received the fax, Baldwin swore in Steffanic as Clerk of Courts.

“It’s not a celebratory time, but we need to move on,” Steffanic said in a telephone interview.

Steffanic will keep the position until Corbett chooses a replacement. The replacement will serve until the next election.

Lukach is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the county district attorney. The investigations were launched by irregularities found in his 2012 records by Controller Christy D. Joy’s office in late March.

Lukach is suspected of using money from the automation fund, an account fed by money from court proceedings that is to be used solely for technology upgrades in the clerk’s office, to make his own car payments and to buy lunches, personal tax software, electronics and other items for himself.

On April 16, FBI agents and state troopers searched Lukach’s office, hauling out several large boxes of documents, a computer and other items.
No charges have been filed against Lukach as of late Tuesday.

Lukach, a Nesquehoning Democrat who held the clerk’s job for 27 years, was last in his office on April 8.