City Police Detective Charged For Violating PFA

October 17, 2018 GMT

State police arrested a Scranton police detective on a protection from abuse violation the day after a judge barred him from contacting a Moosic woman.

Detective Sgt. Tim Harding, 60, is charged with indirect criminal contempt after he was accused of contacting a woman who sought the order against him. Police Chief Carl Graziano confirmed the arrest by state police late Tuesday, adding that he believed Harding is accused of calling the woman Monday night.

Harding is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a due process hearing and an internal investigation, Graziano said.

Harding has been on administrative duty since late September, after an investigation began into reports about a road rage incident involving a vehicle with Harding’s license plate. A man driving that vehicle reportedly flashed a weapon on Sept. 23 on the McDade Expressway.

The incident led Kimberly Crispino to seek a PFA order against him, stating in a letter attached to the application that the road rage incident made her concerned about Harding’s state of mind and her safety.

Allegations contained in the PFA include multiple phone calls, text messages, a threat of suicide and a threat to have Crispino arrested for theft over some paint he left at her house.

Judith Lewis, the attorney representing Crispino, declined to comment Tuesday.

Harding was barred from contacting Crispino for six months after a hearing Monday in front of Lackawanna County Senior Judge Chester T. Harhut. At that hearing, Harding’s attorney, Matthew Comerford, said troopers wouldn’t file charges against Harding related to a road rage incident.

Comerford did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday night. State police officials have not responded to inquiries about the status of the investigation.

During the PFA hearing, Harding pledged to stay away from Crispino and recognized his job is at stake. The temporary PFA order has already cost Harding his position as a deputized federal investigator, he said, a position he’s held for 11 of the nearly 20 years he’s spent with Scranton police.On Tuesday night, Magisterial District Judge Terrence Gallagher arraigned Harding on the criminal charge. Harding remains in Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.

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enissley@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9138