UPDATES with mayor's comments, comment from borough manager.
Mayor Tom Lloyd suspended Richard Dwyer, the acting police chief, on Monday, saying Dwyer left the borough without police protection on Thursday.
“He and I had a difference of opinion on overtime,” Dwyer said, though he declined to elaborate on the seven-day unpaid suspension.
“When council hired me, one of the things they told me to do was try to control overtime. I haven’t cut out all overtime, but I’ve been watching it closely,” he said.
However, Lloyd said three officers scheduled for the evening shift Thursday were at hearings before District Judge Blaise Larotonda and instead of holding the day shift officers over until they arrived, Lloyd said Dwyer instructed the officers to keep their radios on.
Dwyer also said that another police department would be contacted if help were needed, Lloyd said.
And for a time, Lloyd said, only one officer was on duty and had to respond to a call about a suicidal person—a call he said that should have two officers.
"Somebody may look at his and say, 'Well it’s just an hour.' Who’s to say what can happen in an hour," Lloyd said.
Lloyd said council was being irreponsible in reinstating Dwyer.
"If they allow Dwyer to make decisions like this ... they don’t care about the residents of the borough. That’s the way I look at it," he said.
Council President Kim Lusardi said council should have been consulted. She said she didn't have all the details, but she did not believe Dwyer should have been suspended. Dwyer is to be reinstated effective Tuesday morning.
Borough Manager Gino Rizza said as an administrative acting chief, Dwyer does not fall under a provision of the borough code that states that council can't reinstate a suspended officer sooner than 10 days from the date of the suspension.
“We knew it was going to happen sooner or later,” Lusardi said of the suspension.
Lloyd and Dwyer have been at odds on various issues, including whether Lloyd has the ability to dismiss certain parking tickets. Lloyd also refused to swear Dwyer in as acting chief, saying he didn't have so swear in an administrator.
Lloyd, , maintains he has the authority to dismiss tickets. The president of the state mayor's association .
The Allegheny County District Attorney's office is looking into the issue, but hasn't made a determination, according to Mike Manko, the office's spokesman.