Former Slippery Rock police chief sues over firing

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A former Slippery Rock Borough police chief sued three of that municipality's officials Wednesday, claiming that he was fired when he refused to back a merger with Slippery Rock Township.

Terry Brown, who lives in the township, worked as an officer with the borough for 24 years, including a year and a half as chief, according to the complaint filed by attorney Alexander H. Lindsay Jr.

In 2009 and 2010, borough council members touted a possible merger with the township, according to the complaint. Township officials were generally against it.

According to the complaint, Mr. Brown refused to take a public position on the merger and opposed talk of slowing down cross-border response of borough police to calls in the township.

Borough officials wanted Mr. Brown to "go out and politic for this merger, and he declined," said Mr. Lindsay.

In late 2010, the borough council fired Mr. Brown, the complaint said. The complaint said that the firing violated Mr. Brown's free speech rights, which include the right not to speak politically.

Borough solicitor Neva Stanger could not be reached for comment. She and borough council members Blase Tucci and David Miller are the named defendants in the lawsuit.

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