2012-10-18 / Front Page

Laceyville Police Chief Suspended

David Keeler

Laceyville Mayor Ken Patton has confirmed that he suspended Chief of Police George Andras on Tuesday afternoon. Patton said he could not comment on the specifics behind the suspension, but said it is without pay.

The Laceyville Borough Council recently held at least one closed-door executive session to discuss police personnel issues. A special meeting called Monday evening was expected by some to include discussion about police personnel matters and although Chief Andras, who infrequently attends council meetings, was present, there was no discussion of any problems within the police department.

Chief Andras confirmed Wednesday evening that he had been suspended by the mayor Tuesday and said while he also couldn’t speak about the specifics of the suspension, he said it involved differences between himself and Assistant Police Chief Scott Perry.

“The first indication I had that something was up was when I noticed the patrol cars that were parked behind my house were gone,” Andras said. Andras talked to another officer who said he’d been told to move the cars, but Andras didn’t say who gave the order to move the cars.

The suspension is for 30 days, Andras said, however, he expects to make prescheduled court appearances. “I have six or seven court appearance for this week and more next week,” he said. “If I don’t show up the borough could lose money.”

Andras said he felt bad that council members weren’t informed in advance of his suspension. A councilmember called him to ask if it was true that he’d been suspended and he confirmed it was true. He said the mayor was within his rights to suspend him, however, council could overturn the suspension.

Other than that, Andras said he couldn’t talk about what’s behind the suspension. “This is the craziest thing I’ve seen in my life,” he said.

Andras has served as a police officer in Laceyville for approximately 25 years. He began working part-time in 1987 and full time in 1989.

He previously was Chief of Police in Wyalusing but was fired in the late 1990’s after over 20 years of service, which prompted an expensive and lengthy legal battle that ended with Andras losing his job. His firing put an end to local police coverage in Wyalusing until last year when Wyalusing contracted for police coverage with Laceyville, with a stipulation that Andras would not be permitted to patrol in Wyalusing.

Despite his problems in Wyalusing, Andras continued to serve in Laceyville and generally has been strongly supported by the Laceyville Borough Council and the mayor.

Andras, who is in his early ‘70s, was sidelined from his duties for about a year after being involved in a work-related car crash in 2005. He also was on medical leave for a time while recovering from a heart attack.

More information about this breaking news story as it becomes available.

 

 

 

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