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Demotion Of Police Chief Causing A Stir In Monroeville

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In a matter of 24 hours, the man who ran the Monroeville Police Department has been demoted from chief to sergeant, and it's causing a political stir in the community.

The mayor is accusing the deputy mayor and some borough council members of cronyism.

"I understand why people hate politicians," said Mayor Greg Erosenko, of Monroeville. "This is purely a power move by our deputy mayor and the three other council people that support her decisions."

Mayor Erosenko says it's a sad day for Monroeville. On Friday, the former chief, K. Douglas Cole, was demoted by interim municipal manager Lynnette McKinney.

"She demoted him without cause; you know what that really means in English - it's political," said Mayor Erosenko.

The manager then named Assistant Chief Steve Pascarella as acting chief.

Mayor Erosenko is accusing Deputy Mayor Diane Allison, who also serves on council, of political cronyism. He claims she has always wanted Pascarella to replace Cole.

"The reason why she said that is, is that the assistant chief is a very good friend of hers, and that's Assistant Chief Steve Pascarella," Erosenko said. "Apparently, their families have been close for quite a few years, and once she figured he would get him in as chief, her husband [would] stand a very good chance of being promoted to detective."

On Wednesday, the borough's former manager Jeffrey Silka resigned after he resisted pressure from council to get rid of Cole. Silka was replaced by current manager, McKinney.

"Mrs. Allison, Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Drumheller and Mr. Erb, that's the four council members, pretty much are telling her what to do and she does it, that's why they put her in there," Erosenko added.

Mayor Erosenko says Cole, who has since been demoted to sergeant, has an outstanding record of 35 years of service.

On Thursday, the mayor is holding a public meeting hoping to apply public pressure on council to reinstate the former chief.

We contacted Deputy Mayor Diane Allison to get her take. She claims Mayor Erosenko's comments are politically motivated.

Monroeville Police Chief Removed From Office (2/1/13)
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