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County recovers portion of settlement check

Published April 12. 2012 05:00PM

Controller Christy D. Joy informed members of the Schuylkill County Employees Retirement Board at its monthly meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville he received a check for $10,037.57 from the county's insurance carrier pertaining to the class action suit settlement and attempts are still ongoing to recover $52,000 lost by failure of the past controller to cash a check.

A month after he was elected controller Joy, at a previous board meeting, informed the members that on Feb. 2, while making an inventory and examination of the safe in the controller's office, he found inside the safe a check dated March 4, 2009, for $15,037.57 made out to the employee's retirement fund and represented the first payment on the county's share in the class action suit settled in federal court. However, when he attempted to cash it he found it had been voided because of the expiration date. To this date nobody knows how the check got into the safe and was not cashed. Former county controller, Melinda Kantner, claimed she never saw the check nor did anyone in the controller's office.

County Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern said there has been a misunderstanding circulated as to why she didn't know about the check. She explained to the members the controller acts as secretary of the retirement board and the retirement board has its own account with M&T Bank in Pottsville and those checks to not pass through her office but are directly turned over to the bank by the controller.

Joy said the M&T bank's Investment Group has a team dedicated to researching and submitting claims on behalf of its clients for securities litigation class action suits and they will research the process, file claims and process the settlement. "I think they will take a very proactive stance on these kinds of suits," Joy stated.

The market value of the county's retirement fund took another hit in the stock market the past month and its value as of Wednesday was down to $100, 893,037,83, losing around $3 million.

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