MERCER COUNTY Panel to choose 3 Republicans as commissioner candidates

The court isn't required to abide by the committee's recommendations.
MERCER, Pa. -- The Mercer County Republican Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 to come up with three candidates to replace former county Commissioner Brian W. Shipley.
Dr. David King, chairman, said the committee plans to send three names to the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas, which will make the appointment to fill the remaining two years and two months in Shipley's unexpired term.
Shipley, 30, resigned Monday amid criticism of his personal use of a county credit card and a county cellular telephone.
Background: The controversies started several months ago when Shipley got into a debate with county Controller Dennis Songer over who owned the credit card.
Shipley maintained it was his personal card, but Songer pointed out it had Shipley's name and Mercer County on it.
Shipley said he paid all charges on the card and the county never was left with a bill.
The cell phone issue surfaced last week when Songer revealed that Shipley had used his county-issued telephone to make numerous calls to escort dating services and similar businesses, including at least one massage service.
Shipley made no attempt to defend his use of the phone and resigned instead.
Shipley is a Republican, and state law mandates that he be replaced with a Republican.
The common pleas court said that anyone interested in the job must submit a letter of interest and a r & eacute;sum & eacute; to the court administrator's office by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Interviews will be scheduled for Nov. 7 and 8, and the court is expected to make an appointment Nov. 9.
If you want the job: King said any registered Republican interested in seeking the party endorsement should contact him at his office at (724) 981-8421 or send him a r & eacute;sum & eacute; by fax at (724) 981-8422 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
All of those interested will get a chance to address the committee at its Nov. 7 meeting in Courtroom 1 in the courthouse, King said.
The court doesn't have to accept the committee's recommendations but could pick someone who chose not to go through the committee nominating process, King said.
The selection process has been put on the fast track to get a third commissioner in office to assist with the preparation of the 2002 budget, which is due Dec. 1.