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Ligonier Township supervisor resigns

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

More than one week after former Ligonier Township supervisor Keith Whipkey abruptly resigned in the middle of his re-election campaign, officials have not disclosed to his constituents the circumstances surrounding the resignation.

Whipkey cited personal reasons in a letter that was read aloud at a special public meeting last Thursday.

Whipkey, 57, did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him for comment.

In the letter, he asked residents to vote for his opponent, Scott Matson. 45, a business owner who previously served on the township planning commission.

“I want to thank the people of the township for their faith in me over the past 23 years,” said Whipkey, who served as a paid, non-elected secretary treasurer of the board before he was elected to office 16 years ago, continuing with the secretary-treasurer duties.

“I am asking supporters in the upcoming election to vote for my opponent. I give him my full confidence,” he wrote.

Whipkey's name will remain on the Republican ballot in the May 21 primary for the nomination for a six-year term, said Jim Montini, director of the Westmoreland County Election Bureau. “The ballots have already been printed; it's too late to withdraw,” he said.

If Whipkey is nominated, he has until Aug. 12 to withdraw from the general election. Montini said the seat then would be declared vacant, and the election bureau would accept a substitute nomination from the county Republican Committee.

Whipkey served as an elected supervisor for 16 years.

“He's personally going through a lot right now. This is what's best for him, personally,” Supervisor Tim Komar said.

Officials are seeking applicants to serve the seven months left in Whipkey's present term as supervisor, as well as someone to fill the secretary-treasurer vacancy.

Applicants for the unexpired term as supervisor should send letters of interest to the township at 1 Municipal Park Drive, Ligonier, PA 15658 by Friday. Secretary-treasurer applicants should send resumes by that date to the same address.

Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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