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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 14, 2015

Second Police Officer Sues Nazareth For Union-Busting

About this time last year, Nazareth police officer Fred Lahovski sued the borough and various officials in a lengthy civil rights complaint over various disciplinary actions taken against him, including a termination that was ultimately set aside by an arbitrator. He argued that the real reason he was fired was for speaking out on union  and other issues. A federal judge agrees. In an opinion issued just last month, Judge Juan S├ínchez has ordered the case to move forward, noting that "[i]t is clearly established that a public employee has the constitutional right to speak as a citizen on matters of public concern without fear of retaliation." Now there's a second case on the burner. Officer Stephen Schleig, a former union President and Vice President, has also filed a civil rights suit against Nazareth and numerous officials over what can only be described as a concerted effort to destroy their union. His suit was filed on Tuesday.

Schleig, first hired by Nazareth in 2008, became a full-time police officer in 2010. In his complaint, he alleges that he soon ran into an anti-union animus that extended from the Mayor to part-time police officer Dan Troxell. Specific acts include the following:
* Refusal to provide him with uniforms, requiring him to spend months in a bicycle uniform with excessive wear and tear.
* Refusal to pay shift differential until ordered to do so in an arbitration.
* Forcing him to see a psychologist without explanation, and then disclosing that private information to officers in other police departments.
* Berating him as "no cop" and as someone who should not have passed the police academy.
* Arbitrarily switching his work shifts.
* Belittling him for thanking Borough Council for allowing him to attend a training course.
* Informing him that hunting cameras and recording devices were hidden in the station to catch him discussing union girevances with other officers.
* Threatening him with violence when he discovered a hidden camera and reported it to Chief Thomas Trachta.
* Threatening him with losing his job for testifying truthfully in an arbitration hearing for Officer Fred Lahovski.
* Placing a plastic rat in a trap and putting it in a room he was using.
* Suppressing an investigative report prepared by Private Detective Dan Moneck that corroborated Schleig.*
* Forging his name to a TOW tag to make it appear to the vehicle's owner that he had ordered the car moved, when in fact the TOW sticker was prepared by Chief Trachta.
* Forcing him without explanation to attend ten counseling sessions at a cost of $8.70 per session.
* Pressuring him to withdraw legitimate grievances filed on behalf of the union, and then commencing unfounded internal affairs investigations when he would refuse.
* Threatening him, through Officer Dan Troxell, with physical harm and even death if he assisted Officer Fred Lahovski in exposing the union-busting activity in Nazareth.

This civil rights action is the fourth civil rights action filed against Nazareth since 2013. Three of them were filed by police officers and one of them involved the wrongful death of Timothy Nixon.

In the meantime, I have an unconfirmed report that Nazareth Borough Council voted last night to fire an Iraqi was hero, Adam Shimer, as a police officer. He was just hired last year.

I had warned Nazareth about a procession of civil rights suits last year, but was ignored. Expect to see more.

Blogger's note: * Borough Council would later deny the existence of this report when I questioned them about it at two Borough Council meetings.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

is phil lauer still allowing you to practice law under his license?

Anonymous said...

How many days or hours do you think will pass before TMC, ET or WFMZ latches on to this story from Bernie?

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Valley is quite the model for good government from end to end.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - what does your Blogger's footnote refer to? What report? Did I miss the asterisk?

What does it matter that they voted to fire a war veteran? I never went for that whistle call. What matters is why they voted to fire him, isn't it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The complaint refers to an investigation of Nazareth police conducted by private detective Dan Moneck, which did result in a report. I footnoted that because I was told twice by Nazareth officials that there was no such report. These misrepresentations to me, either intentional or unintentional, were made during borough council meetings.

As for my remarks about them firing an Iraqi war hero, I consider that highly relevant. Veterans are entitled by law to preferential treatment in hiring. I believe his service overseas should also be considered in disciplinary matters. This is why we now have veterans' courts. But I caution you that I now know only second hand that an officer has been terminated.

Anonymous said...

It mattesr to a lot of people who live and work in the Boro of Nazareth. This Officer (Adam Shimmer) goes above and beyond his duties to help. I know, I've seen it personally. This man served his Country, and now serves thr Boro of Nazareth with the same respect and dignity. Perhaps they'll be happier with a department full of obnoxious, arrogant people who only concern themselves with making the higher ups look good. Shame on all of you for turning your back on a fine Officer. There are a lot of people who will miss you and your fine work OFFICER SHIMER!!!!!

Christian Chilcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie O'Hare said...

A Christian Chilcoat posted some misinformation here, then quickly deleted it and posted it anonymously bc he is a Christian Coward. I deleted him.

Anonymous said...

A possible truth is the fact that, Chief Trachta has been attempting to get Dan Troxell in full-time for several year now. Adam Shimer was the only person who fought for his right to work, after Chief Trachta attempted to disqualify him as a full-time police officer, in order to convince the Borough of Nazareth to hire Troxell who scored low of the civil service test.

As we speak Troxell has been give all of Adam Shimer ' s work hours for the rest of this month and the month of September.

Part time Deputy Chief Miller's angle or take on it could be the fact that, he is working on a year to year contract October to October at the rate of $40.00 dollars an hour. He needed to get rid of Adam Shimer to justify Nazareth Borough in retaining his services. Unfortunately this will most likely result in another retaliation lawsuit for Nazareth Borough.

Good luck Adam Shimer! Take them to the bank kid!

Remember it's all chicken sh!T!

Anonymous said...

About time they pay the piper for all the illegal stuff they are doing against the people of nazareth.take them all to the cleaners show them they must pay for the action's they can allways get a job at McDonald's.

Anonymous said...

Not too sure about that. McDonald's have standards and more class!

Anonymous said...

Ur right but they will have to pay big bucks with all these lawsuits going around and I know for shure there will be more to come.

Anonymous said...

All they have to do is fire Trachta and Troxell. All these lawsuits have a common factor.....these two! Bernie any idea why the Borough is allowing Chief Trachta to run the department and not them?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I at one time thought it was Trachta, and he certainly is a major part of the problem. But the real problem is a borough concil that is compleyely out of touch and interject themselves into things they shouldn't while ignoring things they should be doing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:34, I hope Officer Shimer sees your words, and will add my own best wishes. I saw him on duty. He was always professional and courteous. He is a Nazareth kid.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these council thugs like to ruin people's lives, they will have to answer to the man up stairs when they try to get through the pearly gates, he will send them straight to hell, even then the devil would even spit them back.

Anonymous said...

Troxell is a looser....... The kid is incompetent to the point that no one listens to his crap. I hope the lawsuits burry him and his cup cake daddy Trachta and the boro council too. They all need to go and Miller can lead them out the door with his shit. The time has come and we now need to walk through this together. Everyone who knows the truth has to come forward, at council meetings and with the media. This must end and it must end now. Bernie I hope you can use all your resources with the public and attorneys to shut this down. Two union Officers have to sue for whats right and a third is terminated before he can even enter the union. Trachta, Troxell, Mayor and Council must go. I ask for a march at the next council meeting to let these cupcakes know the game is over. The constitution gives every man and women the right to voice their options with retaliation and now the time has come. Down with the courpt politics and bring forth a new wave of caring people who trusty care about their community. Why domt the rules apply to Troxell, why van he come and go as he pleases and yet after lawsuit after lawsuit and all the bad police work he remains. Nuff said!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We are moving into the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man in front of you and he will watch yours, let us understand the situation, we are going into battle with a determined enemy, before you and all mighty god, when we go into battle we will leave no man behind, so help me god. Sergeant Mackenzie to the strong and proud soldiers of the Nazareth Police and all those that challenge them. From a veteran for the veterans, united you will stand, divide and concur the enemy. God bless you all. God bless our Police. Saint Michael protect those who protect us and give them the strength through these testing times. God protect our protectors and give them strength to fight this battle.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why the good that the Nazareth Police Department Does is never posted on this blog? I know the department has its issues however I had problem about one month ago and I dealt with one of the newer police officers. I can not recall his name but I remember him telling me he had only been there for a few months! He was courteous and professional and everything a citizen should expect from a public servant! In my time of need not only did he do everything he could to help me, he also took the time to be personable and comfort me in my time of need! Iam sorry I can't remember his name but thank you officer! If anybody knows who this officer is please repost!

Anonymous said...

Fire Trachta Strong..... See you all at the Farmers Market this morning..... :) Warning, I may be armed with SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE SHIRTS.

Anonymous said...

Rumor in town is that the new cops all resigned? Is this true?

Anonymous said...

Well unfortunately it's NOT a rumor....it's a fact. All officers are taking a stand against Chief Trachta and his kid sidekick Officer Troxell. Enough is enough! Coucilman who want to be reelected better do something! To bad for Deputy Chief Miller that he will NEVER BE chief. He has to live in Nazareth School district......like his personal sidekick and newly hired (under the radar) friend Officer Gross, who does love in the Nazareth School district. Perhaps that's why he brought him on board. So that he can work behind the scenes and double cross Chief Trachta to Coucil. Convince Coucil that Gross is well qualified for the Police Chief position under his personal tutelage!

Hope Coucil did a private investigation on this guy
Perhaps then they will find out how Gross is no longer a county prison warden..... (physically escorted off the premises)!!!!!

These are the type of officers who we are now hiring to protect our families and loved ones!

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:12, That could have been any of a number of good police officers who work in Nazareth. But borough officials resent the full-timers bc they are members of union and demand silly things like health insurance and contracts. I am totally shocked they would fire one of their own, a Nazareth resident who always wanted to work here and who served his country honorably, to make room for the person responsible for the death of Timothy Nixon.

Anonymous said...

Did chief cupcake, order Deputy Dogg , to wear a pooper scooper bag, and a wee wee pee pee bag. To stop him from making a mess in the boy's cave . Because Deputy fuzz nuts Miller stepped in it. How fucked up is it .To pay fuzz nuts $ 40.00 an hour and get rid of an American vet. Just to save his job. Fuzz Nuts, your a disgrace. What a Princess ,you turned out to be. Has anyone checked the back of his head. For wear marks from under cupcakes desk.what a piece of shit you are. I want every vet. To walk up to fuzz nuts shake his hand and call him a piece shit. Your suppose to be a man not fucking princess.you couldn't hold Shimers jock strap . Your a princess. Not man enough to stand up for the good cops, but then you never where.
Not saying you cross dress. Do you . Just asking . Don't forget your pantyhose cupcake like you in them when he bends you over . Say's Deputy Dogg. Just saying . You piece of shit . Veteran hater.you suck Just saying . You take money from real heroes. That want to war. God bless Shimer. Thank you for your service. A d all the vets that served our country.Fuck you money hungry fuzz nuts. Everyone should tell fuzz nuts , and Deputy Dogg fuck you . Ps hold your nose around Dogg I think his poo poo bag is leaking

Anonymous said...

To EVER take a job as a police officer in Nazareth and actually use that on a resume or take the chance of this kind of crap is career suicide. I would be much happier if this department was disbanded and the State Police took over, there would be much more integrity then!

Christian Chilcoat said...

Not a coward, an honest man. Just because you served during the time of a war doesn't make you a hero in that war. He served in the coast guard for 4 years. Did a lot of good for our country but he never set foot on Iraqi soil and, especially, he never did anything heroic during any of the operations fought in Iraq. Don't call me a coward because I posted something without trying to start an incident... I don't agree with what the Nazareth Police Chief is doin to Officer Shimer just like I don't agree with you calling him an Iraq war hero because I know real people that served in Iraq and did a tough job and served their country on multiple deployments INTO Iraq's hostile territory and I don't even consider them Iraq war heroes. Chris Kyle was an Iraq war hero, so was Scott Sather and Marc Alan Lee. Those are real Iraq war heroes Bernie. Get your information right and you wouldn't have people giving you crap.

Anonymous said...

OMG who is this Deputy chief Fuzz Nuts Miller. Is he Illegal immigrant worker from Mexico. That Nazareth Counsel hired. To make their images look better for the Mexican vote. To keep their seats in office. News flash. We have no Mexicans . They are to smart to live here. So counsel your fucked . Think of it as a old fashion fight,1-2-3 your out of here. Then we fire trachta get it FT cupcakes then Fuzz nuts veteran hater Miller you piece of shit. Then last are poop poop Doggy bag wearing pee pee holder Deputy Dogg Troxell . Ex favorite asshole licker . Not that he doesn't lick his own ass. But there's a new Deputy chief Fuzz nuts ass licking under the desk Cupcake pleasure Miller. You piece of shit Veteran hater . Shake his hand with gloves on for safety reasons. And call him a piece of shit . No balls,well not referring too the ones hanging from his chin. Wait maybe just maybe ❗ That's why he didn't speak up for this American Hero Veteran Shimer. I'm sorry for reference to you Deputy chief Miller as Fuzz Nuts deep throat veteran hater. Never entered my mind. You really wanted to speak up , but couldn't do to the fact your were choke in on Cupcakes balls . Please People of Nazareth wake up and vote . As a matter of fact shake every counsel man and heshe hand. Call them a veteran hero hater piece of shit. Then tell them they lost your vote. Make sure you wear gloves,cupcake has been smiling alot .

Anonymous said...

Big day today in the positive movement towards a strong anti idiot Nazareth Police Department! Stay tuned ! This is the first step towards a better department! Stay tuned ! Ian sure Bernie will be reporting on it before noon!

Anonymous said...

It won't Nazareth Poilce officer who vote him out is was town coucil and get the fact straight this is from a person know the fact

Anonymous said...

Why did Daniel Troxell and Chief Cupcake Trachta get fired yet?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Why they are stll there is a mystery to me.