Police Issues Discussed at the Council Meeting

Several police-force related questions and comments were brought up at this weeks council meeting.

Foremost, Judy Dici, one of the council members, asked when the Borough plans to hire a part time officer to help remedy the overtime hours some of the officers are currently getting; according to what was discussed at the meeting, the Borough is still reviewing applications and remain active in the process of hiring a part time officer. An exact date and time an officer should be hired by was not stated.

There has been a rumor going around that one of the Ellwood City Police Officers tested positive for drugs after taking a drug test, and this issue was also discussed at the meeting. Ed Leymarie, the Borough solicitor, spoke on the behalf of Mayor Anthony Court who was absent for the meeting, “rumors surrounding the accusation that one of our officers tested positive for drugs has absolutely no truth behind it.”

The current healthcare plan the officers are on, UPMC Health PPO $3500 $20/$40 medical plan and 15/30/50/50 prescription plan was passed for renewal for the next month.

20 Comments on "Police Issues Discussed at the Council Meeting"

  1. Ralph Chiappetta | October 20, 2016 at 10:41 am | Reply

    When will Mayor Court attend a council meeting? Is he afraid that he might have to answer questions?
    Or will he only attend when he gets his photo taken?
    Its been 4 months Mayor Court since you attended a regular meeting of council, but you still collect your $300 a month. This question is on more and more people’s minds each month.

  2. Overtime has been a problem for decades here in Ellwood city. They have passed over on plenty of part time officers, mainly finding an issue with them as an excuse to hire. Seems this is purposeful to allow the unlimited overtime for the highest paid officers in the area. As far as Tony Court being absent, that is an issue in itself. However, blasting him on public forum is unprofessional from a former councilman that was in question of the validity of his residence within the borough. Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of the mayor first, before the libelous words you’ve placed here for public viewing.

    • Just another citizen | October 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Reply

      Perhaps you have forgotten, the Mayor is a public servant. He should feel obligated to attend these meetings. If he doesn’t, perhaps it’s time he step away.
      He absolutely should be asked this (and many more such questions) in a public forum. He should be made to answer this (and other questions) in a public forum as well. Private conversations leave room for miscommunication as well as misunderstandings.

  3. Seargent Saunders | October 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Reply

    The overtime gravy train indeed has been around for awhile with one guy in particular manipulating the scheduling so he can pad his bank account. So the big question is why don’t some people want to put an end to this obscenity???

  4. Why is it that the highest paid officer who couldn’t even pass the crimes code test twice gets to play overtime god? If you dont even know basic crimes codes than how can you prepare a schedule let alone be an officer who is supposed to uphold the law!

  5. Ralph Chiappetta | October 21, 2016 at 9:23 am | Reply

    Its important to remember that the ONLY ELECTED OFFICIAL that has control over the schedule in the police department is the MAYOR and this is why the MAYOR needs to answer the questions.

  6. Seargent Saunders | October 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Reply

    Wait a minute, Ralph…please educate us (and I’m not saying that sarcastically)! Are you saying no one else has the authority to put an end to this? Can council as a body vote to address this issue? What is the law regarding putting the Mayor out as a result of failure to attend to his duties? In the abscence of the Mayor, who is second in command? Can council as a body haul in the guy who is making up this schedule and put him on the “hot seat” in the abscence of the Mayor? What is the relationship between the Mayor who seemingly won’t address the over time issue and the scheduler? Didn’t the paper run a story about this guy padding his salary by manipulating the overtime hours for HIS benefit in the past? If this Mayor cannot or will not attend to his duties, then legal means should be taken to remove him from office!

  7. Seargent Saunders | October 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Reply

    As we await commentary from Ralph, let me ask you people of EC some questions. If this Mayor is NOT performing his duties, why don’t you do something about it? If, as part of your employment you decided to summarily not perform certain duties, what would happen to you? Why do some elected officials think they can get away with not performing their duties? Why? Because they know most of you don’t give a damn! Oh but wait until there’s some change in school sports or cheer leading and you’ll see and hear the crying, whining and wailing as if it was the end of society. The Mayor is PAID to do his job. If he can’t or won’t, then you get rid of him! If you really wanted to, you people can produce a groundswell of protest to a point where he will need to do something…do his job or resign. Close the booze joints, shut down high school football, eliminate cheer leading, we will never hear the end of it. Here’s the opportunity to do some good for the community and put and end to this circus. Come on people…GET YOUR ACT IN GEAR!

  8. DisgruntledinEC | October 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Reply

    Oh My, Oh My! Finally, people are seeing what I am seeing for so long. I believe who Bruce and Seargent Saunders are speaking of is the officer “leading” the police department (if you didn’t notice, leading is in quotations). I believe the only “leading” he is doing is leading the Mayor is any direction he so chooses, because as far as I know, Ralph is correct about the Mayor having control of the schedule. If the highest paid police officer is also the one who is in control of the schedule, it doesn’t take a Council Member or the Mayor to figure out what Seargent Saunders stated above, that he is ‘manipulating the schedule so he can pad his bank account.’ So WHY has Council not done anything about this? Why has the Mayor not done anything about this? Why has Council not told the Mayor to do something about this? I mean they cannot be that blind, can they? Please, please…someone answer my questions!!

  9. Ralph Chiappetta | October 24, 2016 at 6:36 am | Reply

    As per Pennsylvania Borough Code that covers all boroughs in the state of PA, The Mayor has the duty of overseeing the police department. I do not blame anyone who wants to make more money. I do blame the only person who has final control. That is the MAYOR!
    Council, by law can only set the budget. But if council sets that budget too low what happens if that department runs out or money in November? Do we do without service and is that a breach of contract?
    At a council meeting this past year I asked that council do a rit of mandamus (court action to force the mayor to comply with councils demands)but the solicitor advised against it.
    But to answer your question, council has no control over scheduling. That power is by PA state law reserved for the MAYOR.

  10. Seargent Saunders | October 24, 2016 at 11:09 am | Reply

    What was the reasoning behind not recommending a writ?

  11. Just another citizen | October 24, 2016 at 11:30 am | Reply

    We all know Ellwood City is terrified of change. Our school district hires only friends and relatives, The borough employs only friends and relatives. and our council is divided into two “buddy” groups. One council member even served on school board. he was voted off and a new bi-law made over his abuse of nepotism. He was voted council President and now council is divided into two groups of “buddys”
    Residents are to afraid to go against the Police dept. and who can blame them. What do you do when the very people hired to keep you safe from those who break the law, are in fact, breaking the law? That is a huge accusation and it will NOT go without recourse

  12. Ralph Chiappetta | October 24, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Reply

    Seargent,You will have to ask the solicitor that question. The writ was talked about even last year. Various member of council, myself included have tried to sit down and talk with the mayor but he does nothing.
    Citizen, I do not think the police are doing anything against the law. They like most people want to make as much money as they can. Unfortunately, their boss (MAYOR Court)choses to do nothing to try and control it. Let me further say that you will never eliminate overtime, but you can do things to control it. Your comments and questions should be addressed to the Mayor at the next council meeting. If you want him to be there just tell him a photographer will be there. He can’t resist that. Maybe he can have his photo in the paper when his lack of leadership bankrupts the town.

    • Just another citizen | October 25, 2016 at 10:56 am | Reply

      Perhaps I worded it a little strong. What I meant to say is they are lacking ethics. You comment “They like most people want to make as much money as they can” was so matter of fact makes it seem as what they are doing is completely acceptable. Sure everyone wants to make as much money as they can, but not everyone has a “Cookie jar” they manipulate to make/take all that money. Acting chief or scheduling thief?
      This abuse of overtime was brought to light several years ago and a breakdown of officers wages, as well as overtime income, was made public. With that knowledge how on earth are we right back to that point? Shame on the Mayor, shame on Council and shame on every one of Us for allowing this to continue! If Ellwood City has the money for this much overtime, we certainly have the money for another (even two) full time officer. I agree with Seargent Saunders, A formal investigation is due.. Long over due! Ralph, do you know the procedures to get one started?

  13. Seargent Saunders | October 24, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Reply

    Wait a minute Ralph. There is something wrong with this and it’s more than a spirit to make money. There’s a direct conflict of interest when the person making up the schedule arranges it for his own benefit. He is not the owner of the company but a servant of the tax payers using tax payer money! If the Mayor is turning a deaf ear and blind eye to this, it looks to me like a formal investigation is in order!!! There is nothing g kosher about this! Something just isn’t right here! This has been going on for years with one person’s bank account getting bigger than yours! I don’t know how much of a forceful way I can say it other than there’s something fishy here! Tax payer money is being used. This isn’t free money! This needs to be brought to a head with the start being a FORMAL INVESTIGATION! Anyone else thinking the same way???

  14. Everyone in town knows that the leader of the police has worked it out that he receives Neverending overtime and holiday pay, this is why the Boro electric has to be so high. 1.45 million is being taken out of the funds to put towards the mayor’s blunder.

  15. Seargent Saunders | October 26, 2016 at 7:37 am | Reply

    One sure thing is the participants in this on-going scheme think you people are too damned stupid to figure it out. They also waking up everyday hoping all this talk will fade off into never-never land and the gravy train of taxpayer money will continue to flow into someone’s pocket. Make no mistake, the recipient of the gravy train is reading these posts. Maybe the Mayor is also. What they hope for is you will just silently go away and they can continue their scheme. Remember, they think you are just too stupid to figure it out. If you’ve had enough, pack the council meetings. Print some signs on your computer and put them in your car windows. Organize protests and picketing. This misuse of taxpayer money needs to come to an end. Find out or urge the paper to print out the salaries as they did once before YEARS ago when the schedule manipulation scam was revealed. If you want change in your boring, YOU are going to get it started. Those on the gravy train aren’t going to give up their money. They are hoping you’ll just go away and you are just too stupid anyway to figure it out.

  16. Truth, but we fear the outcome. My neighborhood already sees no police presence. A huge injustice is happening and no one is talking about it. These policemen are working ot with no limit. Dici makes mention of it and it is swept under the rug. I know first hand that police officers have been turned away by the police lead

  17. Ralph Chiappetta | October 27, 2016 at 11:51 am | Reply

    Craig, while I was on council, I pushed for and got GPS units for the police cruisers because I had complaints like yours. The only way to say if a cruiser patrolled your street was to check the GPS print outs.
    Shortly after I left council, it was said that the GPS units were causing the cars to stall or batteries to go dead. They have been removed from all cars now. I know that various police agencies use GPS and so does almost every truck on the highway to track their locations. Only in Ellwood do these units cause cars to stall.

  18. Ralph, corruption is running rampant in this town. But only blind eyes are found.

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