Dormont council to continue police chief's demotion case
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Dormont council took a public vote Tuesday night to continue an appeal to Common Pleas Court regarding the demotion of former police chief Phil Ross.
The council voted to demote Officer Ross in March, citing insubordination and mismanagement of scheduling, leading to cost overruns.
Officer Ross appealed his demotion to the borough Civil Service Commission, and in July the commission ordered his demotion overturned.
Two days later, the borough's labor attorney, Chris Gabriel, appealed the decision to Common Pleas Court.
A status hearing for the appeal is scheduled for October.
Borough Solicitor Deron Gabriel, no relation to the labor attorney, has said repeatedly that council did not need to hold a public vote because the appeal was a continuation of the original demotion vote, not new litigation.
But a public outcry for the council to take a public vote prompted council President Kim Lusardi to call for a vote last month. She couldn't obtain a quorum for a special meeting, however, so the vote was held Tuesday night.
Councilman John Maggio voted against continuing the appeal because he said the November elections would create a new council that would overturn the current council's actions regarding Officer Ross.
"The money that you are spending for this is going to be a waste of money, so I'm going to ask that you reconsider and withdraw the appeal," he said.
But council voted 4 to 3 to continue the appeal. Mr. Maggio and council members Joan Hodson and Eugene Barilla dissented.
First Published September 7, 2011 9:31 am