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Schuylkill County News

Cass Twp. Suspends Police Operations Pending Investigation

Solicitor says paperwork was filed with “a department of the state” by an officer they thought had resigned.

Cass Township supervisors voted Friday to temporarily suspend all police department operations pending an ongoing investigation.

Cass Township supervisors voted Friday to temporarily suspend all police department operations pending an ongoing investigation.

The investigation is in regard to paperwork filed with an unknown state government department by a police officer that the township was under the impression had resigned about a year ago.

The vote of supervisors was unanimous during a Friday afternoon special meeting at 2 p.m. at the municipal building.

During that meeting, Cass Twp. Solicitor Mark Semanchik provided some but not many details on why he recommended the supervisors take the action they did. He said he could not disclose to which department the paperwork in question was filed. And he didn’t name the purported former officer who filed the paperwork in question.

Semanchik said he and the supervisors, during an executive session held last month, discussed “receipt of correspondence that the township received with regard to paperwork that was submitted to a department of the state by a police officer who, based on the township records, had resigned approximately a year prior.”

The Solicitor also said that upon reviewing that paperwork, supervisors directed him “to begin to question how that could be.”

“How could someone who is indicated in our records to be a former officer … how could that officer be filing paperwork with a department of the state, representing himself as a member of our police department,” Semanchik asked.

Then, before last week’s regular supervisors meeting, during an executive session, Semanchik said the police chief at that time, Gerard Daley, submitted his resignation.

Supervisors accepted Daley’s resignation during their regular meeting last week and also told Semanchik to continue to investigate the paperwork matter.

Semanchik then informed the public today (Feb. 2) that the supervisors held another executive session, lasting for 90 minutes from 6:30-8 p.m., this past Monday, Jan. 29, regarding “police matters” but also with regard to the township’s “emergency services people.”

“That’s what we’ve been dealing with and it is ongoing. There are still more questions here than there are answers,” Semanchick said Friday. “In the absence of having a clear path to see where we are going with this police department, my recommendation to the board at this time is that they temporarily suspend any activity with regard to this police department.”

Semanchik said the last time Cass Township had a police officer scheduled to work was on Jan. 31. The suspension of township police service would last at least until the supervisors complete a review. Based on his review, Semanchik said a “liberal” estimate of how much time police are on the job in Cass Township is about 200 hours per month.

Semanchik also asked the board to authorize him to contact Pennsylvania State Police-Frackville barracks to attempt to arrange for its coverage in lieu of their own police. And he asked that he be allowed to contact Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake to inform him of the township’s decision.

Supervisors granted those requests. They also agreed to allow Semanchik to contact any officers that were active with Cass Twp. to gauge their interest in being reinstated at some point in the future.

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