Kulpmont chief retires
KULPMONT - In a move that is expected to save money on insurance, Kulpmont Borough Police Chief Richard Wilson III retired from the police force Tuesday evening.
Borough council accepted the retirement on a 6-0 vote during a special meeting with council members Stephanie Niglio, Philip Scicchitano, Bruno Varano, Joseph Winhofer, Nicholas Bozza and Stephen Motyka voting yes. Council member Clarence Deitrick was absent.
Wilson was hired by Kulpmont as a part-time officer in 2007.
Wilson was promoted to chief on May 13, 2008, and became a full-time officer. He was named to the post after Edward Grego resigned to take a position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Grego and Wilson were the only two officers on the force at the time.
The police force grew over the years, and Wilson oversaw a department of five part-time officers before Tuesday's retirement.
Officer in charge
Mayor Myron Turlis said patrolman Michael Pitcavage, who has worked for the borough and other area police departments, has been named officer-in-charge of the department until further notice.
'Out of service'
Wilson's retirement happens a week after the Kulpmont Police Department was placed "out of service" because its previous police liability insurance carrier announced it was not renewing the borough's policy.
Officers were back on the job two days later when the borough found a new policy, but with a premium "significantly higher" than the $1,500 originally budgeted for the policy in 2013. The amount, Turlis said Friday, depended on the outcome of Tuesday's meeting.
It is believed the insurance problems stemmed from a civil rights lawsuit brought against the borough and Wilson over the treatment of a female the chief took into custody in 2011. The suit was settled out of court in November for an undisclosed amount, and the original citations against her were dismissed.
Testimony during a hearing in the March 2012 criminal case against the female brought to light several past employment problems for Wilson. Also, the chief was suspended for 47 days from the Kulpmont force in 2009 over what he said was political retaliation.
The mayor confirmed that with Wilson's departure, Kulpmont will pay a lower premium, but still higher than the amount budgeted.
"We are still negotiating with the insurance company about the rate, but it will be much less than what it could have been if he hadn't retired," Turlis said.
Wilson did not say anything during the borough's executive session or when he left the meeting.
Turlis also declined to comment following the meeting.