Wednesday, July 18, 2018


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Former Police Commission Solicitor Threatens Suit Against Pennsburg
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The former solicitor of the Upper Perk Police Commission has threatened to sue the borough of Pennsburg over unpaid legal fees.

            On July 18, Phil Gazan sent a letter and a billing summary to Mayor Vicki Lightcap claiming that the municipality owed him $3,822.55 in unpaid legal fees. The lawyer also threatened to commence civil action against the borough to collect these fees if the "bill for services is not paid within 20 days."

            Though the deadline on the letter passed Aug. 9, Pennsburg Borough has not received any further notice from Gazan, according to Solicitor Chuck Garner.

"If the letter is accurate, we're going to be served papers," said Garner, who confirmed that he communicated with the author of the letter last week, but has not received a further response. "I don't know what Mr. Gazan is going to do. It's his prerogative."

            Gazan – of Gazan & John, a Norristown law firm – did not return a phone message seeking comment.

            Pennsburg did not pay for its portion of the solicitor's fees during the final 11 months of the commission.

            'I don't believe the borough was legally obligated to pay," Garner said Monday. "There are a number of reasons why. But I won't go into them due to the pending litigation."

            In April 2016, Kris Kirkwood, a Pennsburg commissioner, publically identified seven allegations of prejudice by Gazan against his municipality. Kirkwood accused Gazan of failing to properly share information with officials from Pennsburg, billing the commission for issues related to an anonymous police donation for five months after the issue was concluded, allowing insurance issues to drag on longer than necessary, failing to make sure insurance carriers adhered to their contractual obligations, billing Pennsburg officials for asking questions about billing issues, relying on Chief Michael Devlin to answer questions asked of him regarding personnel manners and procedures and representing the spouse of an East Greenville and Police Commission member in a bankruptcy procedure.

            Two months later, Pennsburg's three commission members attempted, unsuccessfully, to fire Gazan as the solicitor.

            On September. 6, East Greenville Borough Council voted unanimously to dissolve the police commission. The commission officially dissolved on June 1.





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