July 18, 2012 —
After a brief search, the Shohola Township Board appointed long-time resident Keith Raser to fill the position of township supervisor vacated by the resignation of Nelia Wall.
“We advertised the position in local papers and received four applications,” said chairman George C. Fluhr. “We considered only two that were deemed appropriate and, after interviews, selected Keith as having the best background and experience to fill the position.”
Wall resigned as a condition laid down by Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin, who announced a pre-trial agreement that resolved a series of charges against the couple. In addition, the agreement filed in Pike County by Tonkin required the couple to pay to Shohola Township $7,500 in restitution.
In a statement, Tonkin said he was satisfied that the agreement brought back almost three times the amount of monies alleged to have been unlawfully removed from the township treasury.
After being sworn in, Raser stated that he has been a resident of the township for 24 years and served on the planning commission’s multi-municipal comprehensive plan, served on the Pike County Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board.
Raser did not mention that he had been recently appointed as the director of the newly formed Pike County Transportation Department.
“I wish to give back to the community that has sustained me over the years,” he said. “I realize the difficult times the township has experienced recently and promise that I will work tirelessly for the good of all its citizens.”
Recently, a demonstration was held by some dissatisfied Shohola Township residents outside the Pike County Court House, protesting the settlement brokered by Tonkin. The demonstrators objected to the decision to close the ethics investigation and withdraw all charges against the Walls.
They objected that Tonkin, without explanation or comment, offered the settlement to the Walls.
Some said that they wanted the DA to explain why all charges were dropped despite the evidence against them.
At the time of Tonkin’s announcement, he said, “The grand jury took this matter very seriously and without the [jury’s] presentment, the citizens of Shohola Township would not have had an independent investigation to document the facts surrounding certain allegations of improprieties happening in township offices.”
The DA could not be reached for comment.