Thursday, January 24, 2008

A rush to appoint would raise suspicions

In reference to the disclosure on Tuesday of Thomas LeCrone's intention to resign from the Convention Center Authority board, the Jan. 24 Intelligencer Journal reports:

"At the commissioners' weekly meeting Wednesday, Robert Field of Lancaster Township encouraged the new board to use that same process to appoint LeCrone's replacement." (The prior commissioners had solicited applications and interviewed several candidates before making a selection.)

"'That earlier process was widely viewed as fair and impartial,'" Field said. (Full disclosure: Field is president of

The Intell goes on to say:

"Commissioners chairman Dennis Stuckey said no decision has been made yet on how the commissioners will select LeCrone's replacement.

"'We need to put our heads together and talk about this and then go from there,' he said.

"'The commissioners might choose to publicly interview candidates,' Stuckey said.

"'Or, if the right person comes along, they might not.'"

Since LeCrone has agreed to remain until February 13, a rush to appoint a replacement within six days would suggest the intention of the commissioners to influence the election of Authority officers scheduled to take place on next Thursday, January 31.

LeCrone was chair of the Nominating Committee charged with selecting candidates for offices for an election at the January 31 Authority board meeting. An attempt in December by his committee was deemed invalid by LeCrone. The committee only had three persons and, since two were required to nominate, it made it unlikely that more than one candidate would be selected. Furthermore, committee member Ted Darcus inaccurately insisted that the chair could not nominate or second. LeCrone requested that Board Chair Art Morris convene a new nominating committee of all seven board members to select candidates.

LeCrone's resignation came as a bolt out of the blue to his close colleagues both on and off the Board.

Adding to suspicions was the appointment by Mayor Rick Gray of former City Council President Julianne Dixson to replace Joseph Morales, and reappointment of Ted Darcus to represent the City which took place simultaneously with LeCrone's resignation.

Has Penn Square Partners orchestrated a coup that will: (1) Return the discredited Ted Darcus to Chair of the Authority? (2) Thwart attempts by board members to investigate terms "gifting" potentially millions of dollars of what should be Authority funds to Penn Square Partners; (3) Forever close the door to the investigation supported by Morris and other board members of the spending of $20 million in tax payer money leading up to the start of the project?

One thing is certain: With Dick Shellenberger and Molly Henderson gone, nothing of significance will take place in Lancaster without the imprimatur and approval of the Power Elite.