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Ethics board reprimands county clerk, deputy

Essex County Clerk Joe Provoncha

Essex County Clerk Joe Provoncha

— Cross gave the associate an opportunity to examine other company’s RFP’s and gave them a chance to complete a presentation comparing IQS to the other companies.

She admits that she should have known that her communication with other bidders for this RFP were not properly equivalent to her communication with IQS, but she claims it was not an intentional act to deceive.

Orticelle said Cross should have been aware her actions were not proper but due to her compliance and participation during the investigation in addition to her 34 years with an exemplary service record as a county employee, Cross should be allowed keep her job in the eyes of the board, with only a fine and letter of reprimand.

The Ethics Board decided Provoncha improperly behaved in letting IQS create an evaluation of all of the submitted RFP’S and then using that evaluation to convince County officials to hire IQS. Provoncha admitted he failed to properly supervise Cross.

Provoncha also admitted to violating the Ethics Policy, the County policy manual and continued misuse of the County computer system after being asked by the Ethics Board to stop.

Orticelle said the Ethics Board wanted to make it clear that neither Provoncha nor Cross received any financial or other compensation for their efforts.

The board meeting ended with Orticelle saying the board recommends new policies be put into place to ensure all employees are trained in all current county policy relevant to their positions.

“It is evident that departments rely on each other for information and safeguards should be included in the current policy to ensure better accountability for the sharing of this information,” Orticelle said.

Provoncha could not be reached by press time.

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