Say No To Cronyism In Sussex County Register Of Wills Office

Trio  What follows is a post from, so-called conservative Judson Bennett, in support of Sussex County Register of Wills Cindy Green’s case for cronyism.  Judson Bennett

If you are from Sussex County Delaware, you might find this Coastal Network piece interesting:

Dear Friends,

The appointment for the permanent Chief Deputy for the Registrar of Wills office in Sussex County is soon approaching. The elected Registrar of Wills is Cindy Green® who has done her best to bring the office into the 21st century and establish the best and most efficient staff to run this important office in Sussex County. When people die in Sussex County, Delaware, the wills of these folks must be handled by this office and nothing gets inherited until everything is finalized. The efficient operation of this office depends in a great part on the leadership and work by the Chief Deputy. Unfortunately by law, the position is not appointed by the elected officer (Cindy Green), but by the Chief Judge of the Court of Chancery. After years of inefficiency and chaos in this office with inexcusable delays and the ridiculous appointments of incompetent people by the Court; by ignoring the recommendations of Cindy Green who knows her own office and knows who is the best person to run the operation, finally after several failing appointments, the Judge appointed a temporary Chief Deputy named Richard Kiger. Apparently, Mr. Kiger after extensive orientation and without real computer literacy eventually did a fairly good job. With the help of the current staff the office is now running smoothly, however Kiger’s position is now over and the appointment is again an issue. Without the proper appointment for the Chief Deputy, the Registrar of Wills office could lose the gains and efficiency it has now achieved.

Registrar Cindy Green has recommended to Todd Lawson (who has the authority to recommend to the Judge) Alison Slater who works in the Registrar’s office, who knows the whole operation backwards and forwards, and can do the job as the Chief Deputy and hit the ground running. Why would this recommendation of a totally qualified person who knows and understands the whole operation not be respected by Todd Lawson and immediately be embraced accordingly? Will the Court again as it has in the recent past appoint another outsider who is unfamiliar with the operation, who would take 6 months to become oriented, and would be an unknown quantity-much to the detriment of the people of Sussex County? Cindy Green has recommended this person to Todd Lawson– the County Administrator. I urge Todd Lawson to accept Registrar Cindy Green’s wisdomatic advice and get on with the recommendation of Alison Slater to the Court for the position of Chief Deputy of the Registrar of Wills in Sussex County.

Please read the e-mail exchanges below between the County Administrator Todd Lawson and the Registrar of Wills- Cindy Green. Actually, the last one on the page was the first one sent and so on. Read from the bottom up to get the context of the timeline. They indicate an obvious problem with the way things are and the County operation. Apparently, County Administrator TODD LAWSON met with the Court on Friday, but has not communicated with Cindy Green about it. Go figure? Registrar Green provided this information to the Coastal Network out of frustration from the apparent and on-going disconnect between the county government and her continual desire to make this important row office as good as it can possibly be. Hopefully Todd Lawson will do the right thing and take Cindy Green’s advice in this important decision. Feel free to contact Todd Lawson or any of the Council members about this issue. The e-mail addresses are below, as well. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND READ THE COMMUNICATIONS from the bottom up:

Respectfully Submitted,
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network

From: Todd F. Lawson
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:22 AM
To: Cynthia Green; Gina Jennings
Cc: Samuel R Wilson Jr; Michael H. Vincent; George Cole; Joan R. Deaver; Rob Arlett
Subject: RE: ROW

Cindy, good morning.

Thank you for the clarification, it helps.

I’ll follow-up after my meeting.

Todd

From: Cynthia Green
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:13 PM
To: Todd F. Lawson <tlawson@sussexcountyde.gov>; Gina Jennings <gjennings@sussexcountyde.gov>
Cc: Samuel R Wilson Jr <swilson@sussexcountyde.gov>; Michael H. Vincent <mvincent@sussexcountyde.gov>; George Cole <gcole@sussexcountyde.gov>; Joan R. Deaver <jdeaver@sussexcountyde.gov>; Rob Arlett <rob.arlett@sussexcountyde.gov>
Subject: Re: ROW

Todd

I am simply requesting your support of recommending Alison to the Court. I don’t understanding
how my email confused you on the matter. I think we all have a clear understanding that the Court
appoints. I still want the Court to know we have an employee that would be a great fit for the position.
My request will be taken more creditable with your support.
I can have Alison send you her resume, the Court was sent one earlier but may need her to resend
it if they didn’t keep it. I will be glad to have it sent to them.

Historically the Court has worked with the Register to appoint the Chief deputy. I see no better
way to appoint then with the Register’s approval.

Cindy
________________________________________
From: Todd F. Lawson

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:36 PM
To: Cynthia Green; Gina Jennings
Cc: Samuel R Wilson Jr; Michael H. Vincent; George Cole; Joan R. Deaver; Rob Arlett
Subject: RE: ROW

Cindy,

I apologize for not acknowledging receipt of your previous email.

Your request prompted many questions, in my opinion, that I do not have the proper response for at this time. Upon the receipt of your email, I took steps to gather information to develop a proper response and those efforts continue.

For one, the Chief Deputy’s position is a Chancery Court appointed position. The decision is the Court’s, not the County’s. I’m confused from both of your emails; are you seeking to appoint Alison or are you seeking to recommend to the Court to appoint Alison?

Next, while I concur with you that Alison is an outstanding employee, I am not in a position to recommend that she be appointed to this position. At this time, I am unaware of her educational background, legal training and overall acumen to determine if she is qualified for the position. I will need to know this and more before I ever recommend someone to the Council and to the Chancery for the Chief Deputy position.

Finally, I have scheduled a meeting with the Court to discuss this matter. Subsequent to the meeting, I will be better prepared to respond to your email and to provide insight to the Council.

Please clarify your request as I have indicated above.

At the appropriate time, I am more than happy to discuss this matter with you.

Thanks,
Todd

From: Cynthia Green
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:34 PM
To: Todd F. Lawson <tlawson@sussexcountyde.gov>; Gina Jennings <gjennings@sussexcountyde.gov>
Cc: Samuel R Wilson Jr <swilson@sussexcountyde.gov>; Michael H. Vincent <mvincent@sussexcountyde.gov>; George Cole <gcole@sussexcountyde.gov>; Joan R. Deaver <jdeaver@sussexcountyde.gov>; Rob Arlett <rob.arlett@sussexcountyde.gov>
Subject: RE: ROW
Todd

I am wondering why you have chosen not to respond to my email, as it is of high importance at this time in regards
to the selection of the Chief deputy in this office. I am simply asking for your support of my request to appoint
Alison Slater for the position.

Please advise!
Cindy
From: Cynthia Green
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2016 11:34 AM
To: Todd F. Lawson; Gina Jennings
Cc: Samuel R Wilson Jr; Michael H. Vincent; George Cole; Rob Arlett; Joan.Deaver (jdeaver49@gmail.com)
Subject: ROW

Good Morning Todd

Our current Chief deputy Richard Kiger will end time with us at the end of March.
He has been a wealth of knowledge for us and his time here has been most valuable!
We have more direction now then ever and will continue to use what he has taught us.
I would be interested in keeping him connected in some way if that would be possible.
Moving forward to his replacement, I would like to have you and the County Council members
join me in recommending Alison Slater to fill the vacancy. Alison currently does many of the duties
of the Chief deputy, she has the legal background and knowledge to do the job. She has been an outstanding employee and serves us well. We would all benefit by her being selected.
I would welcome your suggestions in this matter.

Thank you
Cindy

Cynthia Green, Register of Wills
5 East Pine Street
Georgetown, De 19947
302-855-7998

As you can see from Mr. Bennett’s statement, and the email exchange between Mrs. Green and Mr. Lawson, they seem to think it should be up to the Register of Wills to choose every employee within the office of the Register of Wills.

Which also means, neither Mrs. Green, nor Mr. Bennett, have any respect for the laws as written.

Title 12, Sec. 2507, sub section a.,

 

(a) The Chancellor shall name a chief deputy register of wills for each county who shall perform such duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the Court of Chancery. The annual compensation of such chief deputy shall be as fixed by the New Castle County government, the Sussex County government or the Levy Court of Kent County. A Chief Deputy Register of Wills when appointed and qualified shall not be removed from office except for good and sufficient cause.

   As we can clearly see here, the law as written, gives the authority to appoint the Chief Deputy to the Court of Chancery. Doesn’t say anything about “with the advice and or consent of the Register of Wills”

   Now why would that be? Of course the lunatic fringe will holler about local control, and about the register being an elected official. These are many of the same people who got it wrong with the sheriff issue. In my opinion the idea behind having the Chancellor appointing the Chief Deputy is quite clear. The Chief Deputy is the one person in the office that is there to work as the liaison between the court and the Register, the one person who is not beholden to the Register for their position.

   If Ms. Green and Mr. Bennett had their way, the office of the Register of Wills would be packed with close personal friends of Ms. Green.  Eric and Cindy

  Or, at the very least, with people who owe their position to her. I think the word for this practice is “CRONYISM”.

   And of course if Ms. Green got her way, and the Chancellor were to appoint Ms. Green’s suggested person, well, then according to the law as written, Ms. green would then have the opportunity to choose another friend or relative to replace them.

   Title 12, Sec. 2507, sub section b.,

  (b) The Register of Wills in each county may employ such number of deputies and clerks at such salaries as shall be fixed by the government body of such county. In Kent County, minimum qualifications may be established by the county government for each position, and said minimum qualifications and compensation and any subsequent adjustments thereto shall have the concurrence of the register of wills.

   Here we see the Register has the authority to name such clerks and deputies as she sees fit, with the advice and consent of the county government. Damn, don’t you hate when that happens?

    Clearly this is an attempt to do an end run around the law. Ms. Green has attempted to paint this as being in the best interest of the people, but is it ever in the best interest of the people to have any governmental office stacked full of cronies of the elected officials? Does it benefit anyone other than Ms. Green, to have  only her friends in the office to see what goes on, on a daily basis?

  The law is written with the intent of being a check and balance of power. Ms. Green with the help of Mr. Bennett, would further consolidate what limited power the office has, under the obligation of employment of every person in the office. Not a good idea in any case.

   I also believe this is exactly the type of conduct which was brought to light during Ms. Green’s last run for office. Allegations were made about Ms. Green’s “style” of management within the office of the Register of Wills. The high turn over of employees, or at least of those long-term employees that were in the office prior to Ms. Green’s election. Employees who had, “been an outstanding employee and serves us well.”, as Ms. Green pointed out about her choice for the new Chief Deputy. There has also been rumors of ill-treatment of employees in attempts to cause them to quit in order for Ms. Green to either promote or hire her “own” people.

   It was these types of allegations of mismanagement that forced former Register of Wills and current 35th Representative Dave Wilson to support Ms. Green’s opponents, both in the primary, and the general election.

  This latest attempt to skirt the law, in order to run a closed shop, merely demonstrates the wisdom of Rep. Wilson.

  It also demonstrates once again the hypocrisy of the far right fringe, the same people who are so often calling for respect of the law, except when it is inconvenient for them. The law is written, if they don’t like the law, then work to change the law. WOW!, that sounds familiar, HUH?

  I say the law, which empowers the Chancellor  to appoint the Chief Deputy, serves an important role in keeping an independent eye within that office.

  

 

3 Comments on "Say No To Cronyism In Sussex County Register Of Wills Office"

  1. fightingbluehen says:

    Say no to cronyism in politics too. Disgraceful Romney pawn.

  2. Fish Bites says:

    I can’t see why this is an elected office in the first place. It’s a straightforward administrative function. It makes about as much sense as electing the head of the DMV.

    I would also expect that the person running the office is probably in a good position to know who is qualified to work there.

    I mean, really, what imaginable hanky-panky would be going on in there?

  3. Fish Bites says:

    I left off:

    “Or, at the very least, with people who owe their position to her. I think the word for this practice is “CRONYISM”.”

    No, the word for the practice of having the head of an office decide who works there is “MANAGEMENT”.

Got something to say? Go for it!