State Reps. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Dan Moul (R-Adams) reacted to results of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s audit of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) by calling for the resignation of Andrew Dehoff, the commission’s executive director, and closer scrutiny of the commission’s activities.
“Our insistence on having the SRBC independently audited paid off Thursday in a manner that should make every Pennsylvania taxpayer as angry as it makes us,” said Phillips-Hill. “Auditor General DePasquale’s findings detail a culture that promotes the gross misuse of taxpayer dollars…a mindset that starts at the top, which is why we are asking Executive Director Dehoff to resign.”
The audit found the SRBC charged taxpayers more than $1,000 for alcohol served at some of its meetings. It also revealed more than $14,000 in unvouchered meal expenses and more than $14,000 in employee perks and rewards that were purchased with public funds.
“It takes an incredible amount of arrogance for public officials to use taxpayers as their default expense account, which is what the SRBC is guilty of doing,” Moul added. “When we return to session next week, I’ll be asking our legislative colleagues to support the effort to remove Executive Director Dehoff from his position.”
Moul said he will also pursue legislation that would increase openness and transparency on the commission.
“Without direct oversight, the SRBC has been allowed to grow into a ‘a kingdom unto itself’ and has taken full advantage of that opportunity,” Moul said. “Their status as unelected officials prevents taxpayers from having a seat at the table in their decision making, even though the commission has access to taxpayer dollars. That needs to change.”
Phillips-Hill, who was recently elected to represent the majority of York County in the state Senate, says increasing transparency in the SRBC will be her first order of business after taking office Dec. 1.
“Three years ago, Shrewsbury Borough council President ‘Buck’ Buchanan alerted me to the SRBC’s demand that the borough install a more than $121,000 well-monitoring system,” she added. “The town, which consists of less than 4,000 residents, was subsequently forced to hike water rates three times over seven years and place on hold long-term waterline replacement projects to pay for the system.
“The SRBC has been on my radar – and the radar of many of my colleagues – since that time, and they will remain under the legislative microscope when I become a member of the Senate.”
The SRBC was created in 1970 when the Susquehanna River Basin Compact was drafted and signed into law. The compact, as adopted by the Congress of the United States, and the legislatures of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, provides the mechanism to guide the conservation, development and administration of the water resources of the river basin.
Representative Kristin Phillips-Hill
93rd Legislative District
Representative Dan Moul
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little