Controversies Dominate Swoyersville Council Meeting
SWOYERSVILLE — A veteran police officer was suspended, one councilman called another an “airhead” and borough ambulance officials questioned why council cut off its funding.
Controversies dominated the monthly meeting of Swoyersville borough council on Monday night.
Council voted 5-0 to suspend Officer Jeff Fox for eight days, but didn’t discuss why.
“It’s a personnel matter. No further comment,” said borough Solicitor Joseph Yeager.
Mayor Chris Concert said he personally likes Fox, but “things happen.” He said the suspension was for an incident that occurred on duty, but wouldn’t elaborate.
Fox was not at the meeting.
“He’s a good officer — one of out best,” Concert said.
‘Sit down you air head’
One of the councilmen who voted to suspend Fox was his former colleague, retired officer Adam Christian.
Christian found himself on the receiving end of an insult from council President Ronald Alunni when he accused Alunni of talking under his breath and rolling his eyes at a resident complaining about a sewer back up at her house that took a week to fix.
“I’ll listen to you,” Christian told the woman after chastising Alunni.
Alunni then fired back at Christian, “Sit down you airhead.”
After the meeting, Christian said, “You see how they treat people? This is why I ran.”
Ambulance: Please return our stipend
In January, council voted to give the borough ambulance company a $5,000 stipend. The board later rescinded its offer and cut the funding after claiming it wasn’t given truthful information about spending and loans.
That led to the recent ouster of the ambulance’s President Bob White. On Monday, he appeared at the meeting saying he wanted to “clear my name.” He said he never “blatantly or maliciously” lied to council about spending. He said he was rushed by borough officials to provide information to a request and gave everything he had at the time. White said he then was pressured to resign, feeling council would no longer work with the ambulance with him at the helm.
The ambulance company, which is in debt, had already been under investigation for financial problems when White took over in April 2017.
The group, which is trying to return to full operations, is currently using volunteer members and placing themselves “out of service” with county 911 when they don’t have enough people to form a crew.
New ambulance president Wendy Specht asked council if the $5,000 in funding could be restored. Council didn’t immediately make a decision.
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