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.”