Former Monroeville chief wins arbitration decision

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A dispute surrounding the former Monroeville Police chief's position with the municipality upon demotion has been resolved in his favor, but local officials say that doesn't mean he's been reinstated.

Attorney Ronald Talarico ruled Friday in arbitration that former Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole should have been appointed to the position of assistant chief rather than sergeant in February when he was demoted.

Monroeville municipal manager Lynette McKinney demoted Mr. Cole from chief to sergeant in February. In 2012, the Monroeville police department came under fire after former assistant chief Steven Pascarella filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that unauthorized users accessed personal information from the municipality's 911 dispatch center under Mr. Cole's watch. Mr. Cole was fired from the department in September.

In an email provided to the Post-Gazette by Monroeville Councilwoman Diane Allison, Ms. McKinney said Friday's ruling only addressed what role Mr. Cole should have been assigned following demotion and does not reverse his firing. The email said that two other grievances filed by Mr. Cole, including grievances surrounding his suspension and termination, will lead to separate arbitration hearings. A copy of an email from solicitor Bruce Dice said the separate arbitration hearings are scheduled for January.

A call to Michael Colarusso, Mr. Cole's attorney, was not immediately returned.


Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@Post-Gazette.com or 412-263-1652.

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