Council Approves Disciplinary Action for Burke

Suspended sergeant demoted to patrolman

In a series of public safety actions taken Tuesday evening, Dormont council voted to demote suspended Sgt. James Burke to patrolman.

Councilors voted 5-2 to demote Burke, who was last month placed on indefinite administrative leave after citing borough Manager Gino Rizza for trespassing. The citation was issued after Rizza entered the police department through a door police said is only for their access. Rizza said he was entitled to use the door.

Dormont Mayor Tom Lloyd called the demotion “unfair and unjust.” He said Burke was given the option to be demoted or fired.

Council Vice President Laurie Malka said the decision was fair because the police union representative and legal counsel agreed to the demotion.

Lloyd said because the citation was being written to the borough manager, Burke called him first to see if it was OK. “I said yes…He’s probably getting penalized because I said yes,” Lloyd said. “A lot has gone on the last couple months that’s not right.”





Bryan July 06, 2011 at 02:25 PM
I hope the officers of the Dormont Police know that the overwhelming majority of the citizens of this borough support them! If you live in Dormont and you happen to see one of these officers thank them for the great job they do every day! The allegations made against them by these malcontents on this council are a shame. There job is a hard one anyway and right now they go to work every day knowing that this manager (and I use that term loosely) and council do not support them.
MSgt. John DeLallo July 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Good on you Bryan, and well stated. I'd like to see one member of council hit the streets for a double shift; perhaps with a bit of excitement thrown in behind Slapshots at 3 A.M., or even better, answering a domestic call. Police work isn't easy. That's why I bailed on it back in 1971, and passed on a generous offer to join the Dormont PD in 1974. I've been shot at and missed and shot at and hit. I wonder how many of our learned councilmen/women can say the same? Thank you again, Bryan, and thanks to all of the Dormont residents who realize that the thin blue line is their only defense against crime and catastrophe.
Mary Beth Kovic July 06, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Well said, Bryan. I think the police department has the support of most of the community. It is becoming increasingly more obvious that this "manager" and the majority of current council are on a huge ego trip. They have the misguided notion that they are in complete control of everything. They have forgotten that they work for the taxpayers. It is apparent that the manager is jealous of the police officers and their salaries, since he continues to compare his salary with theirs and expects increases in line with theirs! I don't think he'll let up until by demotions of others and salary increases and BONUSES for himself (which he and Lusardi openly lied about last night) he becomes the top paid employee in the borough. The sad thing is this council is playing with the livelihoods of good people who have worked hard and served the community well for a long time. Their families, careers and futures have been harmed by this council and manager. In a few months their little council stipends will end, along with their brief power trips, and they will go back to their small, insignificant jobs, unfortunately leaving Dormont in shambles. The community will show FULL support of the police department on election day when not a single one up for re-election makes it - none of them. Rizza will be unemployed by January 1st and there is not a community around that would want him.
Bryan July 06, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Mary Beth I hope you’re right that come November we have new blood and the damage can be repaired. The problem is how many of our good officers (some of which live in the community) will have jumped ship and went elsewhere? And don't think for a minute that some are not looking! Drew once stated something like there would be a line to the Liberty Tubes for these jobs if people quit, well as someone who works closely with three different police departments on a daily basis and someone who is friends with many officers, some of which are even part-timers word is out stay away from working in Dormont! I talked to a part-time buddy of mine the other day that is taking the SHACOG test and asked if he would apply for Dormont, His response was "No Way!" So to Drew and the other council members I am here to tell you until you fix this problem the quality of people you will be able to hire will be less than what we have come to expect from Dormont officers and employees. Good officers will stay away from this mess!
Kevin Miller July 06, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Burke deserves to be demoted and should have been fired a long time ago. He abuses sick time costing us a fortune.
Kyle July 07, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Kevin, twice now you've made allegations with no substantiation. Without the facts to support your statement, your opinion becomes slander, and you're perceived as either ignorant, or a puppet regurgitating talking points made by the malcontents running the ship aground.
Kyle July 07, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Dengar, I've been in the process of designing one, but I can find anything to simulate the regurgitation... everything is either too unrealistic or stains my drapes.
Kyle July 07, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Leah Petrilli July 07, 2011 at 10:15 AM
Did I hear correctly that Heather Schmidt said she will not vote on raises for Gino Rizza? If that is so, then should she have been voting or in any way shape or form been involved with voting for discipinary action or formulating discipline of an employee involved with differences with Gino Rizza? Seems like a huge conflict of interest and unfair to the employee in question. Heather Schmidt should recuse herself from ANYTHING involving Gino Rizza. Her involvement may or may not be within the letter of the law but is it morally correct?
Ed M July 07, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Ditto Bryan. Playing politics with the police department is not good.
Ed M July 07, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Kevin, What proof do you have to support these allegations?
Kevin Miller July 07, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Kyle, You obviously have no idea what is happening within your police department. All is public record. Do some homework on your own. His sick abuse and lack of work attendance is well documented. Keep drinking the Kool Aid.
Just Mom July 07, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Kevin, I think you are incorrect. Can you please provide the site and/or whom you got this information from? I believe the reason he was demoted was because of the trespassing I don't see anywhere above about sick time. . Where is the public record?
Kyle July 07, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Kevin, that's not the way it works. Ordinarily the person making the accusation is the one providing the sources... you know, to prove your case. If this info is so easy to come by, how about you do the correct thing and cite your sources.
bert August 02, 2011 at 08:32 PM
did you miss the article showing all the overtime the police are getting, 4 of them over 100,000. if you were ever related to a police officer you'd know how the overtime game is played. and not just in dormont. some of our police where making almost double thier salary. and the chief was fine with that. i wonder what other games are being played, that we will never find out. but i guess it is ok for most of you to just let ross make up laws as he goes....out the door


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