In February 2013, Michelle Borzick Fry was FIRED from her job as the zoning work leader in the Pottstown codes department – FIRED for good reason and it was a vote of confidence in the new borough manager, Mark Flanders, because it was the RIGHT thing to do. In 2009 Michelle felt entitled to accept a $5,000 check from income investor/developer, Frank McLaughlin, (a man who’s had his own run ins with the law/a checkered past that was a fit with Michelle’s desire to help herself to his money and help him with his projects). That’s called Bribery.
In return for his generous “gift” Michelle went above the call of duty as she personally serviced McLaughlin when he made application for licenses and permits. They were neatly filled out for him, awaiting only his signature. Questions of past criminal charges as well as other pertinent information required of the applicant were checked in the “negative” columns by Michelle, regardless the policy of requiring applicants to fill out their own information. During McLaughlin’s Plum St. Townhouse development, it was business as usual between Frank and Michelle yet…
Michelle has never been charged with a crime.
“Bribery is a form of corruption…
Forms of corruption pertaining to money like bribery, extortion, embezzlement, and graft are found in local government systems. Other forms of political corruption are nepotism and patronage systems”. source: wikipedia
During her tenure as a public servant to Pottstown, Michelle’s employment survived an affair with the BCO of the codes department, they had sex on the taxpayer dime, on the clock…on the desk and probably the office chairs too, (at least they put a cover over the window on the door to the office). Preoccupation with steamy emails and lurid conversations between the two helped to pass the long hours at work, when not personally engaged with one another. And, there were friends weddings to help plan while on the job too, lots of personal business took place in the halls.
The BCO lost his job…FIRED…over his role in the indiscretion, as it should be, when local government has concern for their relationship with taxpayers and the quality of work they are entrusted to do for them.
Teflon Michelle dodged a bullet then and -again-last year as she flew under the radar of the D.A.’s grand jury investigation of the codes department that was initiated after Frank McL. Was arrested for stealing water service at his rental properties.
Sources say Michelle was about as comfortable as a fly on a hot griddle while this investigation was underway, snappish and unpleasant with people in her work environment, (a slightly perceptible difference from her everyday Pottstown people skills).
Besides Michelle and Frank, the few others who knew about the check were never subpoenaed to testify. During an internal investigation, Michelle denied that she’d received money from Frank – denied it to everyone including the borough manager and the police, it finally caught up to her when faced with the knowledge that there was irrefutable evidence.
Michelle was escorted out of borough hall. Mercury reporter, Evan Brandt, righteously asked the borough manager for a comment regarding Michelle’s dismissal:
Mark Flanders replied: “We don’t comment on personnel matters.”
As a matter of policy or situational convenience? If its policy why, (at around the same time as Michelle was fired), was the name of a police officer that was being disciplined openly announced at a public council meeting?
And, why not comment? Why give anyone in this community any more reasons to mistrust the intentions of the people we PAY handsomely to work for us? It’s not just about the money either, it’s about the arrogance that leads elected and paid officials of this community to believe that THEY OWE US NO EXPLANATION…
WRONG. THEY DO OWE US AN EXPLANATION.
The upshot of all of this is that Michelle Borzik Fry isn’t content to acknowledge her failings or count her blessings that she was never charged with a crime and, just move on.
NO. Michelle wants her job back.
On September 30th a hearing will be held at Borough Hall. Michelle will be represented by AFSCME 2784 union representative /union president (and best friend of Michelle’s for over 30 years), Kathie Minotto is a borough employee of over 34 years. They are bringing in the BIG GUNS from AFSCME to defend Michelle and the “talk” around the hall is she will be getting her job back. It is anticipated that several employees will be testifying as to Michelle’s GOOD CHARACTER AND WORK ETHICS.
There are also employees, past and present, who can evidence that Michelle DID NOT approach her job with good character and work ethics. The $5,000 check and office sex should be enough to stand on its own merit but…
There are also borough documents that Michelle “secreted” out of the work place, she assumed BCO duties that were not part of the zoning work leaders job description - like making zoning determinations. She took work time to don scanty exercise clothing in the women’s room before leaving the office on many evenings, “endured” back-rubs by male co-workers at her desk when the stress of it all came crashing down on her, often left work early to live up to her parental duties, came into work – whenever it suited her, and much more that can be told and substantiated.
Yet, in the midst of all of this angst and turmoil that Michelle has contributed, Pottstown Borough has AGREED to co-sponsor the FUNKY SANTA 5k Race-again – with Michelle and her current beau, who operate a sporting goods business.
Michelle’s been bopping in and out of borough hall in gleeful preparation for the event with nary a hint of shame or embarrassment as to her failure to serve Pottstown with honesty and integrity.
This development AGAIN calls into question the motives of the people that work for local and county governments that declined to file charges against her, paid her, enabled her to collect unemployment and now stand to re-instate her as a public employee while engaging in this sanctimonious “parternship” with her in the Funky Santa 5k Race????
MICHELLE HAS BEEN GIVEN NO REASON TO FEEL ASHAMED, an emotion that clearly doesn’t come natural to her. It’s been said elsewhere on this blog and everything we know today about the nature of her service to the taxpayers supports the assertion that Michelle Brozick Fry has BIG BRASS CA-HONES.
Last year, the Funky Santa event grossed in the neighborhood of $7000. The distribution of proceeds was never made clear but as co-sponsors wouldn’t you think we, the Pottstown taxpayers, would benefit in some small way?
Compensation for the time Michelle spent at work marketing and planning for the previous events?
The initial ad in the Merucry last year stated that a portion of the proceeds would be donated to the Parks and Recreation Foundation – but were they?
All we can say for sure is that Michelle and Butch took a nice ski trip to Aspen Colorado when all was said and done.
Should the testimony of these people who know and can evidence the truth about Michelle continue to be squelched?
No, we believe officials need to put their petty differences aside to call everyone who can testify because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO.
We think the borough has an unprecedented opportunity to respond as if it is the beginning of a concerted effort to establish a “circle of trust” between themselves and their benefactors, the Pottstown Taxpayer, (who see marginal returns at best), from their elected and paid officials.
The public’s trust has been violated time and again…
For the leaders of this community to do anything but fight this re-instatement with every tool available to them will only serve as affirmation of the depth of corruption this local government will tolerate, as citizens contemplate:
“what information does Michelle posses that has everyone up there pandering to her?”
Pottstown taxpayers have every right to EXPECT leadership.
The mission of the Borough of Pottstown is to provide responsive, innovative, and cost effective services.