Luzerne County domestic relations head position filled

By Jennifer Learn-Andes -

Veteran Luzerne County domestic relations employee Kevin Kane has been promoted to department director, court officials said.

The top position was open because James Davis recently retired after four decades working for the department.

Kane has worked in the domestic relations department more than 30 years and served as deputy director for 21 years, said county Court Administrator Michael Shucosky.

The office handles child and spousal support payments and the establishment of paternity for children born out of wedlock.

“It’s really a seamless transition to promote him to this position,” Shucosky said of Kane. “Everybody considers him to be a wonderful asset.”

Kane will receive the same compensation as Davis, or $83,169, Shucosky said.

Court officials are reviewing the deputy position as part of restructuring and will post and publicly advertise any resulting job openings, Shucosky said.

Other personnel

Three employees were hired in court branches last month, according to county Manager C. David Pedri’s August personnel report: Fred Lokuta, judicial assistant, $31,500; Mary-Jo Baloga, probation fiscal technician, $26,345; and Savannah Betterly, district justice clerk/typist, $24,202.

Among the new employees hired last month in other county branches: Alyssa Conner, prothonotary fiscal supervisor, $38,000; John Petrini, planning/zoning transportation planner, $50,000; Michael Degnan and Jonathan Dende, assistant district attorneys, $43,000; Lauren McCloskey, mental health/developmental services clerk/typist, $28,412; and Carol Ann Plevick, aging agency clerk, $23,588.


County road and bridge truck driver Harry Whitman has retired, and aging care manager Jamie Lawrence was terminated last month, the report says.

The workers who resigned in August include: assistant conflict counsel James Barr, road and bridge truck/equipment operator Eric Gallagher, prison correctional officer Randal Williams, Children and Youth social service aides Alyssa Kephart and Kassandra Schott and aging agency senior center operators Mary Lou Kocher and Carol Yozviak.

Council meeting

A council voting meeting and work session will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse on River Street in Wilkes-Barre.

Council is set to vote on Missouri-based NorthPoint Development’s request for a tax break on its third proposed local development project to construct three structures totaling 1.375 million square feet on a 150-acre township tract along Dundee Road in Hanover Township.

If approved, NorthPoint would pay taxes on the land, which is currently tax-exempt, and receive some form of county real estate tax forgiveness on new construction for 10 years.

The original proposal was for seven years of full forgiveness, followed by exemptions of 90, 80 and 70 percent in the final three years.

In the newest proposal on the voting agenda, the forgiveness would be 100 percent in the first year and decrease 10 percent annually, resulting in 10 percent forgiveness in the 10th year.

Councilman Harry Haas also is suggesting alterations to further reduce the forgiveness percentages, the agenda said.

911 litigation

Also on the voting agenda is a proposal to hire the Joyce, Carmody & Moran law firm to handle litigation seeking recovery of 911 fees allegedly not billed, collected and/or turned over by telecommunication providers.

The county would not pay for the litigation but must share a portion of the recovery with attorneys if the action is successful, the agenda said. Under the proposed agreement, the law firm would recoup its costs if there is a successful recovery, but attorney’s fees would be capped at 30 percent of that recovery plus litigation expenses, the agenda said.

Luzerne County Courthouse
Luzerne County Courthouse

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.