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Pa. police chief suspended

February 04, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNE HEIGHTS, Pa. - The Washington Township supervisors voted Monday to suspend Washington Township Police Chief Kurt Braun for one day without pay, a move they say settles administrative charges against the chief.

The supervisors, after a brief executive session with township solicitor Richard Walsh, voted 4-1 to approve suspension. Supervisor James Kirby cast the dissenting vote.

"I felt in my heart I had to vote no. I don't want to go into details about it. I hope everything works out in the best interest of everyone," Kirby said.

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Braun did not attend the meeting. Reached at his home after the meeting, he said he had no comment.

Washington Township Manager Michael Christopher said he and Braun will decide later on the date of suspension.

"I'm pleased we can now go about the business of running Washington Township at a normal keel," Christopher said.

The suspension stems from administrative charges filed against Braun by Christopher in December.

Braun, who has served as the township's chief of police since June 1983, was accused of violating department rules and regulations. Christopher administratively charged Braun with failing to post an updated work schedule in the manager's office; failing to notify his supervisor of absence; and sending a memo which Christopher has said displays conduct unbecoming a police officer.

Braun, in his memo to Christopher, said he gave a tentative schedule to the township manager, but that it was subject to change. Braun, in the memo, also criticized Christopher's management style.

"I am a responsible, dedicated professional who takes my position extremely serious," Braun wrote. "However, if you want to treat me as a child rather than a professional chief of police, then perhaps what you, or this township should receive from me is a lot less than what I'm giving. A person or position treated as a child has a tendency to revert to child-like practices. I am not going to be treated as you treat the maintenance foreman. I take personal affront to the manner you seem to think that you have to control me or keep you (sic) thumb on me or whatever you would like to call it."

An administrative hearing scheduled for Feb. 13 to discuss the charges has been canceled.

Supervisor Chairman Richard Eigenbrode said the suspension has nothing to do with a separate investigation of the Washington Township Police Department launched by the supervisors last month.

Attorney John Lisko was appointed as special investigative counsel at $100 an hour to conduct the probe.

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