Finding new stands for the Westmoreland Electoral Officer
The Westmoreland commissioners have halted the search for a new director of the electoral office indefinitely.
The department has been without a senior manager since commissioners fired the former director last summer after 10 months of service. Since June, it has been run by two acting directors who also run other county departments.
“We are just continuing the status quo for now. We haven’t sat down and reviewed the electoral managers,” Commissioner Sean Kertes said.
Director of Public Works Greg McCloskey and Scott Ross, the county’s director of information systems, have served as acting chief electoral officers since last summer. McCloskey was originally appointed last spring to help the department prepare for the 2021 primary as the election office dealt with multiple issues, including ballot errors and printing delays. He and Ross were put in charge of the elections after the commissioners fired director JoAnn Sebastiani.
She has since filed a federal lawsuit against the county in which she claimed she was fired for political reasons and was subjected to a hostile work environment. This trial is still pending.
Last month, commissioners awarded McCloskey a $5,000 bonus for his work in the electoral office.
The reorganization of the electoral office last year led to the hiring of an office manager and a quality assurance supervisor, who both remain in place.
Meanwhile, the search for a permanent director has stalled and no candidates have been interviewed this year and none are expected, the commissioners said.
“The important job is to ensure that the elections go off without a hitch. The names of these players, the positions they hold really don’t matter,” commissioner Doug Chew said.
Kertes said there was no rush to find a new manager.
“Obviously we want to fill it, but the office is running much better now than it has for some time,” Kertes said.