"The accusations in the report and the criticisms are so dramatic I think they need to be dealt with publicly," he said at a news conference in his office Monday.
The commissioners had just begun to wrestle with next year's budget - tossing around plans that would include no new taxes, a modest tax increase, or a whopping 28 percent hike - when prosecutors swooped in to arrest Matthews on Dec. 6.
They allege that the three-term incumbent mischaracterized his relationship with a title insurance company that was awarded government contracts and failed to disclose discussions he had with witnesses in the case against him. The grand jury also accused the 62-year-old of various ethical violations, including using campaign contributions for personal expenses, awarding government contracts to friends, and conducting secret meetings.
The report also recommended a list of changes that the commissioners plan to consider, said Hoeffel. Hoeffel, the lone Democrat on the three-man board, did not escape the grand jury's critique. The grand jury said he joined Matthews in regular breakfast meetings to discuss county business in private before voting at public meetings.
Hoeffel said a review of the grand jury's report was "best conducted in public session where the commissioners can ask questions, qather information, evaluate programs and policies, and determine what, if any, changes are needed."
On Tuesday the commissioners will review the budget. They then will tackle issues relating to open space, procurement and human resources on Wednesday and Thursday.
They will not address "any matters of alleged illegality," he said.
Hoeffel said Matthews planned to attend.
Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or email@example.com.