WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the last day on the job for Luzerne County Manager Randy Robertson, it comes as the county is in the midst of an investigation into a paper shortage on election day.
He announced his resignation several weeks ago citing family health issues. On Friday, he sat down with the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick to talk about his resignation and other critical issues he says are facing the county.
Robertson was county manager for about five months. He tells Eyewitness News he has seen and heard a lot as county manager, including what he describes as “political interference.”
“The bitter-sweet part too is there’s a lot to be done, a tremendous amount to be done. We just started to peel back the onion a little bit,” Robertson said.
Friday was Roberton’s last day as county manager. He said he understands people have questions about the timing of his resignation, as the district attorney investigates a ballot paper shortage on election day that led to extended voting hours.
“There is about six layers if I recall between me and the machines. I’m not saying I’m not accountable, if people want to hold me and if people want to make this connection that you left a few days after the election that’s fine, but the county knows, the community knows, people who know me I’ve been telling [you] I’m leaving because I got to take care of my wife for months,” Robertson explained.
Roberston believes many of the recent problems at the Luzerne County Election Bureau are complicated by too many people getting involved in the process.
“You got a board, you got a bureau, and you got a council, and you got the management, and how does that all fit when you come to what we are just experiencing? It doesn’t work at all. The whole structure is flawed,” Robertson told Eyewitness News.
Robertson said the county’s top prosecutor should investigate what happened.
“The District Attorney is the only one here who can do an investigation to see if there was an act of omission or commission. He told me yesterday that he’s already started that process,” Robertson said.
Roberston says, in his estimation, politics is hindering the daily operations of the county. He did not name names but told this reporter:
“I knew we were in trouble because the whole notion we should be moving away from a political environment that apparently was here 10 to 12 years ago. Maybe the political environment that has captured our nation in [the] last two to four years was alive and well and living right here. I was seeing it on a daily basis,” Robertson explained.
Roberston says the county employees do a great job. He said he is proud of his accomplishments such as increasing staff at Luzerne County Children and Services and hiring three division heads.
Mehalshick will have more on this story on Eyewitness News at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.