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Controller appeals order to Commonwealth Court

Published September 24. 2010 05:00PM

An appeal has been filed in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court by Schuylkill County Controller Melinda Kantner from the order entered by Schuylkill County Judge Charles M. Miller on Sept. 4, giving her 30 days to file the audit report on financial spending of the county for the previous year.

The annual report is due every July 1 but there has been a delay in the filing of this year's report. Kantner and the Schuylkill County Commissioners are in disagreement as to whose fault is causing the delay.

The commissioners accuse Kantner of failing to do her duty as a controller. Kantner blames the commissioners on hiring an auditor with no experience in preparing county audits.

Kantner filed petitions in the county court seeking an extension of time but was denied by a ruling made by Judge D. Michael Stine. Kantner said her reason for requesting the extension was because County Administrator Mark Scarbinsky asked her to seek an extension because the auditor the county hired needed more time.

Kantner said she is puzzled by the court's ruling because in 2006, Gary Hornberger, then county controller, made a similar request for extension of time and it was granted by President Judge William E. Baldwin.

The commissioners filed an action in mandamus in the county court to have the court order her to file the audit as soon as possible. Judge Miller held a conference in his chamber on the suit and later issued an order directing Kantner to comply.

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