The Big Talk topics of the day

CHAMBERSBURG – Every weekday morning on First News, the local – live morning radio information show with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen, features the big talk topics and opinion from local Attorney Clint Barkdoll. On June 16 – The Big Talk on First News covered pool closings, a local FBI raid, COVID 19 vaccination requirements and cease and desist orders.

Listen to the full audio here:

  • Caledonia State Park pool will be closed for the 2021 season. A press release from the organization said it’s because they were unable to contract lifeguards for the season.

Barkdoll said, “All of our local pools, including the local municipal pools, Chambersburg and Waynesboro, they’re all open as normal. Now I will say, I have some inside knowledge on some of those situations. I know they did have to raise the wages of the lifeguards. A lot of these local facilities last year, they were paying around $8.50 an hour. My understanding is this year they had to raise their wages to closer to $10 an hour. It would be interesting in Caledonia and at the state level, what were they doing? How is it that all of these other pools were able to hire lifeguards? Yes they had to raise the wages a little bit, but why was it such a failure at the Caledonia level? What’s unique about them? Maybe the unemployment issue is part of it, but yet that didn’t seem to affect any of our other local pools this summer.”

  • A grand jury report came out a day or two ago on the Quincy Township Supervisor, Kerry Bumbaugh, who has been charged with using his position of power for his own financial gain and creating falsified documents to cheat funding sources to inflate invoices to cover both personal and township expenses.

    The charges have been brought through the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

    Bumbaugh still remains in office because it’s difficult to remove someone from office in Pennsylvania, even if charges have been filed, unless he’s convicted or the state brings impeachment proceedings against him.

Bumbaugh is innocent until proven guilty.

Jansen pointed out, “The whistleblower against this guy actually ran and lost and that was before all this information came out. It sounds like from the accusations again, alleged, it sounds like a lot of people just willing to go along with this person who apparently just had a lot of convincing powers over others to help him achieve scams.”

Barkdoll said, “It’s just a sad story all around when you see any kind of a public abuse of office. I don’t know all the back story or what all went into the investigation, but based on the news reports, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money and resources that have allegedly been misused. That’s a lot of money for a small township. We haven’t heard what Mr. Bumbaugh’s response to this is. He may have a defense. There’s no need for me to resign when I’m going to be found not guilty.”

One piece of evidence from the grand jury report includes meta data from Bumbaugh’s computer.

It looks like a document was created after Bumbaugh was denied an insurance claim for damage to his property. The document tried to prove there was an agreed-upon easement between Bumbaugh and Quincy Township. Apparently 15 minutes after he received the rejection notice from the insurance company, the document was created, according to the computer data they analyzed.

Meta data from a computer includes the exact date and time a document was created or altered.

  • Meritus Health will require employees, medical staff, volunteers and contractors/partners to be vaccinated for COVID 19 or tested every 14 days as of September 1, 2021. Additionally, as of August 1, 2021, all new health system employees must be vaccinated for COVID 19 prior to beginning work. Medical and religious exemptions are available.

Barkdoll said, “I find the timing of their announcement interesting because it came immediately on the heels of that federal court decision over the weekend that said that that Houston hospital was allowed to make vaccinations a condition of someone’s employment. I think there were a lot of hospitals that were watching that case very closely. My guess is that Meritus, their executives were looking at that when they saw the federal court upheld that those vaccines can be required they rolled out this press release.”

  • A vocal citizen in Franklin County has received cease and desist orders from the Chambersburg Area School District. She’s asked the law firm for the applicable statute that gives them the right to contact a private citizen, a taxpayer in this manner.

Is she in the right?

Barkdoll said, “I’ve never understood the ceases and desist order in Chambersburg for a couple reasons. One is it’s not clear to me who the client is for that law firm. I’ve not seen evidence that the school board actually approved this as a board action and if that’s the case, is it individual board members that are asking that a cease and desist letter be sent to an individual tax payer? If so, who’s paying for that if the board didn’t authorize it? Is the individual paying for it? Secondly, I don’t think a public official can serve a cease and desist order on a constituent. You can’t stop someone from showing up at a meeting, contacting you, as long as they are engaging in discourse related to school board activities. Now I realize hey, different story if the person is contacting you about unrelated matters, but I don’t’ think that’s what’s going on here. I would be really interested to know who is the law firm representing and how is this legal if they’re saying that this is a constituent that they’re saying must cease and desist from contacting a school board member about school board and school-related matters?”

What would the recourse be?

Barkdoll said, “If there’s evidence that the school board members individually or the board itself is going to try to enforce this, her recourse would be to take this into court to see if this would be upheld. I don’t see on the surface how this is a legitimate cease and desist directive against a constituent, against a taxpayer. So she would need to get into a court and have a judge issue some kind of an order that nullifies the cease and desist directive.”