Punxsutawney officials have fired a police officer months after a man was found dead while in police custody.
Council members voted unanimously, with one abstention, on Tuesday to terminate Officer Brian Andrekovich's employment, though no officials have elaborated on the reasons for his dismissal.
Borough Manager Ben White said last night that the discipline was based on "an internal administrative investigation," but would not comment further.
Officer Andrekovich had been on paid leave since Aug. 15, when 48-year-old Stephen Obbish was found dead in the back of a police car hours after his arrest on charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
The case remains under investigation by the state attorney general's office, said Punxsutawney Mayor James Wherle, who declined to discuss it.
"I can't say much about the officer involved because he has got his appeal rights," the mayor said.
Police Chief Thomas M. Fedigan Jr. could not be reached for comment last night. Other borough leaders either couldn't be reached or did not return phone calls.
In voting 6-0 in favor of the officer's firing, council members did not mention him by name, only as badge No. 14289. Their decision came after a closed-door executive session.
The borough police department's Web site lists Officer Andrekovich as a detective, though it does not list his duties. He couldn't be reached last night.
Last month, a coroner ruled that Mr. Obbish died of a toxic combination of his own medications and alcohol. Toxicology tests revealed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.301; the state's legal limit to drive is 0.08.
On Aug. 15, police arrested Mr. Obbish for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct at a Goodwill store at 9:46 a.m., and paramedics found him unresponsive in an unmarked Chevrolet Impala parked outside the borough police station at 2:56 p.m. Officials have not said much about what happened during those five hours.
Sadie Gurman can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1878.