I’m late to this, but I’m very surprised that none of the reporters or columnists in the Lehigh Valley really sussed out the obvious angle on this story about Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez nominating Northampton County DA John Morganelli’s home-maker wife to the Bethlehem Parking Authority board: this is as clear a case of political patronage and payback as you’re likely to find in politics anywhere.
The debate got unhelpfully sidetracked by the question of whether or not Diana Morganelli is qualified to serve on the board, which she probably is, having been an analyst at Air Products years ago, but that’s not what’s problematic about her candidacy.
The problem with her candidacy is that John Morganelli is the main political backer of Bob Donchez. He was Donchez’s campaign chair, he served on his transition team, and along with conservaDem Lisa Boscola, has been his biggest public booster. I’m hearing from a few sources that since Donchez has moved in, Morganelli can be seen hanging around Bethlehem City Hall about as often as he’s down at the Northampton County Courthouse. What’s up with that?
Bottom line: if there’s anybody who can be immediately ruled out for positions on supposedly non-political authority boards, it’s relatives of John Morganelli. The qualifications issue is beside the point when you’re dealing with a clear cut patronage appointment. The Mayor should not nominate, and Council should not approve, relatives of Donchez campaign hacks, to anything.