Kulpmont special meeting tonight could involve chief
KULPMONT - Borough council will hold a special meeting tonight that may involve Police Chief Rick Wilson III.
Officials are mum on the reason for the executive session or whether it even involves the chief.
They said an executive session last week and a two-day suspension of the police department was related to the borough being forced to find a new provider for its police liability insurance policy.
A secretary confirmed Monday that council will meet in executive session before a 7 p.m. special meeting. Mayor Myron Turlis had said Friday it involves a personnel issue.
While there has been no public advertisement for today's meeting, the public meeting notice advertising borough council's regular meeting dates for 2013 provided for special meeting dates on the Tuesdays other than the council's regular second Tuesday meeting night.
The mayor said Friday the borough was notified April 1 that the previous carrier of the police policy was terminating coverage on July 17. The borough's insurance agent looked for another carrier but had difficulty finding one because the department had been given a "high-risk" designation, he said.
When the termination date came without a new policy, the department was shut down, only to resume about 48 hours later when a new carrier was found.
Turlis said the premium the borough will be paying is "significantly higher" than the $1,500 originally budgeted for the policy in 2013. The amount, Turlis said, would be determined following tonight's meeting.
Turlis wouldn't say so, but it could be as high as $25,000.
It is believed the insurance problems relate to 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.
Wilson, the only full-time officer, is assisted by several part-timers. Kulpmont has nearly 24-hour coverage with borough officers, and state police cover the off-hours.