North Franklin supervisors face legal challenge

  • By Scott Beveridge January 7, 2013

North Franklin Township supervisor Jim Huff was reappointed supervising chairman Monday despite claims his resignation from the elected seat last month left him ineligible to chair municipal meetings.

Huff, who resigned immediately in writing and turned in his keys Dec. 17, informed the township nine days later that he had rescinded his resignation that was made after he served one year in office. Township supervisor Silvio Passalacqua said Monday he would still appeal Huff’s actions to Washington County Court for a ruling on whether Huff has a right to continue serving as a supervisor.

“I do not recognize Jim Huff as a sitting supervisor,” Passalacqua said.

Huff declined to discuss the matter Monday, saying he didn’t “want to get into it.”

Passalacqua said another legal challenge is likely over the board’s decision Monday to appoint township resident Leslie Alexas to the North Franklin Township Recreation and Business Improvement Authority.

In a letter to supervisors Monday, the authority’s solicitor, Gary L. Sweat, stated the nomination for the vacant seat needs to be made by Trinity Area School District under the terms of a prior settlement with the district.

“Please make sure that the proper appointment is made so as to avoid future legal proceedings,” Sweat stated in the letter.

The authority manages financing for improvements to a local mall and also is developing a park in the community.

It was not immediately clear Monday night who made the recommendation to name Alexas to a vacant seat on the authority. The appointment was approved by Huff and supervisor Dennis Dydiw, with Passalacqua voting in opposition.

North Franklin solicitor Dennis Makel did not attend the supervisors’ meeting.

Scott Beveridge has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986 after previously working at the Daily Herald in Monongahela. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s fine arts and art education programs and Duquesne University’s master of liberal arts program. He is a 2004 World Affairs journalism fellow.


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