Wednesday, September 18, 2019


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East Greenville Police Chief Places Himself on Unpaid Leave
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Drew Skelton, chief of the Borough of East Greenville Police Department, has placed himself on unpaid leave effective Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. Skelton informed members of borough council and municipal employees of his decision through an electronic message the same day, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

            The police chief cited a toxic work environment for his decision, according to the sources.

            Skelton's leave will begin at 4 p.m., according to Joe Adam, Jr., acting chief of the Upper Perk Police Department. Adam said he spoke with Skelton, who confirmed the decision and its timing.

            Mayor Keith Gerhart did not return a call seeking comment. Manager Jim Fry and council President Angie Fegely did not respond to an email message seeking comment issued Thursday afternoon. Skelton declined to comment.

            According to Adam, his department has not received a request for additional coverage in the East Greenville. He said that if the borough's remaining active officer, Joshua Halteman, needs assistance, the Pennsburg department will always provide it."

            On Wednesday, Skelton expressed shock at a decision by Gerhart to publically disclose details of Project X at the borough's police station located in Colonial Village during Tuesday's council meeting. Municipal officials had previously attempted to keep that activity secret, citing officer security.

            The police chief described the disclosure as "reckless and negligent," adding that the mayor's words put him and his staff at risk. After the meeting, Gerhart said he made the announcement because a current member of council discussed the details at a public meeting earlier this year.

            Further, the mayor claimed that the proposal to install steel plates at the station was mentioned during meetings in 2017 and that those references are reflected in the corresponding meeting minutes.

            "Even if the mayor's statement that Project X was revealed publically prior to the meeting was true, I see no valid reason why he would have to disclose the information," Skelton said the day after the meeting.

            According to the police chief, the mayor should have considered continuing to refer to the project as Project X until the work was completed.





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