Council Members Upset That Fired Officer Negotiating For Union

NAZARETH, PA &#8211 Fired Nazareth police officer Fred Lahovski has been named the police union’s chief negotiator, a move that drew the ire of two borough officials tonight.

Mayor Carl Strye Jr. and Councilman Dan Chiavaroli said they didn’t see how Lahovski could serve as the union’s negotiator.

“It’s not fair if we’re in litigation with them and they were fired,” said Styre, who was appointed mayor earlier this month. “It’s like a fireman negotiating with an arsonist.”

Chiavaroli said he understood Lahovski remaining a union member to protect his rights as he fights to get his job back. But the councilman said that Lahovski shouldn’t have a leadership role in the union.

“We have a fired officer who’s negotiating with the borough — that’s questionable in my mind,” Chiavaroli said.

Councilman Jack Herbst said union members have the right to pick whoever they want as the union’s chief negotiator. Police Chief Thomas Tratcha said he’s known cases where police officers are in jail but still remain union members.

Lahovski also may be serving as the union president, borough officials said. Herbst said Lahovski was listed as the union’s president on a letter that went out to residents earlier this month, but he’s seen another officer listed as president elsewhere.

Lahovski didn’t return a call for comment following tonight’s police committee meeting. Lahovski was fired in September after previously receiving a disciplinary notice for ordering of fingerprinting equipment without council’s approval.

Committee members said there was nothing new to report with the borough’s proposal to join the Colonial Regional Police Department as it continues to await feedback from the department members. They assured a borough resident that they’ve asked for a police officer to be stationed in the borough.

Until anything is decided on Colonial Regional, borough officials said they plan to fill two vacant part-time police officer positions and have started accepting applications.

From The Express Times

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