Cumberland County Freeholder candidates Tonetta, Sheppard, and Fiocchi and County Clerk Candidate Noto have issued the following press release.
Cumberland County Republican Freeholder candidates Tom Sheppard, Rick Tonetta and Sam Fiocchi and County Clerk Candidate Gloria Noto are concerned that conflicts of interest may prevent county employee Joseph Veight from continuing to serve on the Board of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (the “CCIA.)”
Candidate Fiocchi summarized the situation: “Veight was appointed to the CCIA Board to the surprise of many in February of 2008. The recommendation of the Deerfield Township Committee had been that George Olivio be appointed. Much later, on January 24, 2009, Veight was appointed as Shared Services Coordinator by the Freeholder Board at salary of $50,000 per year. Just five days later, on January 29, 2009, at a meeting of the CCIA Board, the issue of dissatisfaction with the employment contract of CCIA Director Steven Wymbs was raised for the first time – by Veight. Veight later was one of the affirmative votes in the recent 3-2 vote to “void” Wymbs salary. The question arises as to whether or not Veight’s subordinate position to the Freeholders prevents him from exercising the type of independent judgment that a director of the CCIA should be exercising. The independence of the CCIA is critical in light of recent attempts by the Freeholder Board to “raid” the CCIA’s funds.”
All three Republican candidates are calling on both the Freeholder Board and the CCIA to separately examine the ethical and conflict of interest positions of Joseph Veight. The fact that Veight began to attack Wymbs’ contract only five days after getting a $50,000 job from the county may only be a coincidence but it needs to be looked into. The CCIA needs to also examine its By-laws and foundational documents and statutory authorization to determine if Veight is, in fact, still qualified to sit on its board. “You can’t serve two masters.” candidate Tom Sheppard added, “You never could and you never will.”