Tuesday, June 02, 2015
If honor is everything, Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright is nothing.
Deceit frames his tenure as a public servant. Dishonesty characterizes the temple of city services he rules like a villain in a cheap martial arts movie.
“Enter the Phony.”
Without honor, neither government nor martial arts stands for anything good.
A few months ago, Courtright hired David Weidow Sr. for a newly created Department of Public Works (DPW) job cutting grass and weeds in a flood prone area, a job Courtright neither advertised nor accepted applications from anybody but Weidow. The job pays $29,000-a-year, more than the median Scranton salary, and comes with a full benefits package.
Weidow does, however, likely have more grass and weed experience than anybody on the city payroll.
In 2009 he pleaded guilty to growing marijuana and possessing nine pounds of pot with the intent to distribute. A judge sentenced him to serve up to seven years in a state prison for his connection to a ring that police say travelled from Lackawanna County to Philadelphia and trafficked in cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy
During the campaign for mayor, Courtright, who runs a for-profit West Side karate dojo as a self-proclaimed 8th degree black belt, accepted a $10,000 campaign donation from David’s brother, Edward. Scranton punchers and kickers say that Edward Weido was a whirlwind karate practitioner when he and his close friend the mayor were young.
And, now, city taxpayers are paying 58-year-old David to attack grass and weeds with the ferocity of one nasty ninja.
Maybe David found enlightenment, straightened out and cleaned up his act. What he didn’t do was take his city job application seriously enough to fill out the required responses.
If yes, please explain.
David didn’t even list a telephone number where he could be reached.
At least he mentioned in scribbly handwriting that he attended some kind of college named “Park” at some undisclosed location where he received what appears to be an associate degree that he seems to have misspelled and finished one “degree” short.
More serious questions remain.
The mayor claims he knew nothing about David’s previous gardening experience. But the mayor also claims that 8th dan black belt, rivaling only Chuck Norris for two-fisted bravado. For the record, Courtright still refuses to prove his karate rank by naming the teacher or teachers who promoted him along the way, disrespecting the people he is paid to serve that he is in fact the honorable “master” he claims to be.
The mayor says he will ask David Weidow to fill in the blanks on his job application. That should prove interesting. Is there anything else about David Weidow’s past that the people who pay his salary and pick up the cost of his health insurance should know about?
Any other crimes?
Any other prison sentence?
I don’t know if David holds any karate rank.
All I know is that this whole mess arranged and carried out by Courtright is rank enough to fill all the garbage trucks at the DPW garage.