End the mystery
I am a taxpayer from Southeastern Pennsylvania. I am also the president of the Lincoln University Parents Association. I sought the assistance of state Sen. Joe Scarnati’s office on March 30, July 25 and July 26.
The purpose of my outreach was to receive information regarding an open records request for board of trustee appointments out of his office for Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa. On March 30, I received a listing of their current records via an email. At the time, it indicated that the current chair of our board, Ms. Kimberly Lloyd (who is in her 12th year on the board) had been reappointed under the Senate on Oct. 21, 2011; her term was to expire in September 2015. The Lincoln University records indicate she had been appointed by the Senate in 2004. The terms of Commonwealth appointees under the 1972 Charter and the Lincoln University bylaws are supposed to be for four years.
I requested and searched for records of her Senate appointment in 2004 and/or 2008 to no avail; there weren’t any. So having received the information about the current listing, I got curious because her second term appeared to have been only three years … why? After months of still coming up with no concrete records, I called Sen. Scarnati’s office and asked for clarification of her recent appointment, I was given the run around and still ended up with no answers. I ended up looking online for the executive nomination appointments under the Senate for 2008 and 2011. There were no Lincoln University appointments, especially none for Kimberly Lloyd. Frustrated because there was a direct contradiction from the email I received in March and the Senate recordings, I emailed Sen. Scarnati’s office again on July 25 and July 26. Both emails have not been answered, even three months later.
In a June 15, 2016, article in the Bradford Era, Sen. Scarnati had been implicated in a potential corruption case involving him and some of his alleged business connections. In the article, he was quoted as stating, “I have strong ethical beliefs, I have handled everything as I believe I should have and my reputation is one of ethics. I demand to have a reputation of ethics.”
Sen. Scarnati is a Penn State alum and so is the board chair of Lincoln University. I think there is a connection and collective interest that he is not fulfilling his duty with my open records request. My interest in finding out whether or not she has been legitimately a Commonwealth employee stems from the fact that, under Ms. Lloyd’s leadership, we have been downgraded twice by Moody’s. Under Ms. Lloyd’s leadership, student and employee morale is at its lowest. We have no alternative revenue streams of income and student activity spending has decreased by 41 percent over the last five years. I personally think she is allowing Lincoln University to run into the ground so Penn State can acquire our campus as a satellite residential campus for the Chester County region.
In 1998, the Pennsylvania Auditor’s Office discovered there was fictional bidding processes for contracts. In September 2016, Lincoln awarded a multi-million-dollar energy renewal contract to Aramark, which has ties to the Barnes Foundation, which has ties to Lincoln University through the Barnes Collection. If Sen. Scarnati would just provide the appropriate documentation to confirm whether or not Ms. Lloyd was really ever appointed by the Senate in 2011 to dispel what is not registered in the Senate calendar, he could end the mystery.
Sen. Scarnati has an obligation to serve me because I am a taxpayer beyond being a Lincoln University stakeholder. He needs to be accountable under his leadership position.
My story is relevant because I think it’s a demonstration of abuse of power by local elected officials, just as in Congress.
This election cycle we need to support candidates that truly have a track record of serving “the people.” Western Pennsylvania if Sen. Scarnati is serving you and you are satisfied, can you email him and ask him to do the same by me. If not, split your vote and choose a candidate who is for the people because he or she understands that they must serve the people!