Each week, The Caucus features important investigative reports and interviews with movers, shakers and influencers. You’ll also get lists of bills in committee, scheduled hearings, upcoming fundraisers and events and more.
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack racked up $73,403.01 on Clif Bars, sparkling water, squeezable packets of apple sauce and on a mind-blowing array of items over two years. The Caucus writers discover these purchases after gaining access to Stack’s state-provided credit card records through the Right to Know Law. Though Stack’s office claims these expenses were for business use, writers Mike Wereschagin and Brad Bumsted find their explanations questionable.
Convicted + Cashing In
The Caucus reporters question why state workers who commit serious crimes are still collecting pensions. Their investigation reveals numerous instances of state employees, including former state troopers, ex-school teachers, and ex-judges receiving benefits from the pension system after being convicted and sentenced for their crimes. Gary L. Weckerly, a former Clarion shop teacher, is serving a 10-20 year sentence for child rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, yet he gets about $45,000 a year in state pension benefits.
Injustice to Taxpayers?
An alphabet soup of state agencies with overlapping duties spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year on juvenile justice, a system described by critics as occasionally chaotic and an unnecessary duplication of services that waste taxpayer money. With consolidation being all the rage in state government, why isn’t anyone evaluating the agencies responsible for serving troubled youth?