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Termination Hearing in East Greenville Concludes
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            After multiple sessions, the termination hearing for Drew Skelton, chief of the Borough of East Greenville Police Department, concluded Monday. Municipal officials laid out their case to dismiss Skelton during four sessions over five weeks.

            Reached on Tuesday afternoon, Skelton declined to describe the nature of his defense or disclose any details. However, he said the hearing which commenced on Jan. 8, appeared to be conducted in a somewhat professional manner.

            "I am looking forward to the time when the citizens of East Greenville will be able to learn what was said and presented during the hearing." Skelton said.

            According to the Skelton, borough officials have 20 days to file any closing arguments in writing, and that his attorney has another 20 days to file a response. A 10-day rebuttal period is also included.

            Skelton said that Melissa Fiala, a Bensalem Township attorney hired by borough council to serve as the hearing officer, will have another 30 to 45 days to evaluate all the presented information and render a decision. He wasn't sure if a written decision would be immediately released to the public. The police chief previously consented to the release of any transcripts or documents to the public or the press.

            He would not commit to returning to work if Fiala rules in his favor. "I will weigh all my options after the decision is rendered," Skelton said.

            Mayor Keith Gerhart recommended that Borough Council dismiss Skelton – who took himself off duty at 4 p.m. on Sept. 6 for an undisclosed reason – for professional neglect and violation of his official duties, according to Michael Peters, East Greenville's solicitor. 

            Peters did not return an email sent Tuesday seeking comment.

            In September, one day before placing himself on leave, 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 a Sept. 3 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.





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