New Deputy Controller faces criticism after past fraud conviction

Local News

Editors Note: Since the posting of the story it has been clarified by the Clearfield County Commissioners that Michael’s has not been released from his position, as previously reported.

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — On Tuesday, Clearfield County Commissioners hired a new Deputy Controller but later discovered he had a felony conviction.

After the hire, it came to the attention of Commissioners that Michael was convicted of bank fraud in 2013.

The Commissioner Chair, Tony Scotto says that someone with a bank fraud felony should not be allowed to serve in a position like this.

Commissioners say that Mark Michael’s name was submitted by County Controller Adamson and Michael was hired to be the deputy on August 11, 2020. Under county code, elected officials have discretion over hiring and firing on their own department and the commissioners say they felt no reason to question Controller Adamson’s request.

“We support the notion that people who make a mistake deserve redemption, and we would consider Mr. Michael for other positions within the County government. However, a felony or serious misdemeanor in an area related to one’s position (such as, in this case, bank fraud) should disqualify one from holding a financial position – particularly when the position involves the handling of taxpayer funds and the corresponding level of trust that comes with those duties.” – Commissioners said in a release.

Under Clearfield County code, if the Controller is absent, the Deputy Controller assumes all the duties of the Controller.

Commissioners are calling on Controller Adamson to withdraw this request so that they can work with him in finding a qualified and suitable replacement.

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