Judge names Banfill, Rhine as new supers

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County President Judge Craig P. Miller has selected Gerard L. Banfill and Clarence L. “Tuff” Rhine as new supervisors in Bald Eagle Township.

The judge held interviews earlier this week and announced his decision Friday afternooon.

A total of 12 people stepped forward to serve in the wake of two supervisor brothers resigning over alleged wrongdoing.

Besides Banfill and Rhine, those being considered by the judge were Michael Considine, Jr., James Gill, Jeff Gummo, Diane Maggs, Jesse Overgord, Charles “Pete” Peters, James Phoenix, Barry Rodabaugh, Chris Stoner and Terry Williams.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of those who applied” Judge Miller said. “It was a very difficult decision and not one taken lightly.”

The appointments are in effect only through the end of this election cycle.

Should Banfill or Rhine wish to remain in their appointed seats, they will need to stand for election this November.

Should they be defeated or choose not to run, their term would end on the first Monday of January 2018, the judge said.

The two supervisor vacancies arose shortly after the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission announced violations against Supervisor James H. Bechdel, Sr. and his brother, fellow Supervisor Jack B. Bechdel.

That prompted both men to resign May 22.

The commission ordered that James Bechdel pay more than $100,000 for using his position — and the township’s money — to buy items through federal surplus sales. Jack Bechdel apparently profited from at least one item his brother bought, a travel trailer, but has not been ordered to repay anything.

Banfill and Rhine join Supervisor Kenneth McGhee Jr. on the board.

Bald Eagle Township is home to more than 2,000 residents and includes the busy, Hogan Boulevard commercial strip. Its offices are located at 12 Fairpoint Road, just off Lusk Run Road.