It was called an "adjudication", but whatever happened certainly appeared to be a foregone conclusion. At the beginning of last night's City Council meeting, Council member Michael Rechiutti moved to terminate Richard Hoffman, a 10-year veteran of the Bethlehem Police Department. At a hearing the previous week, Council heard testimony from 11 witnesses who described an off-duty DUI that resulted in an accident without injuries. They also detailed other instances of misconduct.
Recchiutti's motion was quickly seconded by Karen Dolan, and all seven members of City Council voted to terminate the officer. They will vote again in two weeks on a resolution to make it official.
Except it isn't.
Hoffman, through Attorney Quintes Taglioli, decided against taking his chances before a City Council subject to public pressure. He has opted instead to present Officer Hoffman's defense in an arbitration hearing.He presented no evidence in the matter heard by City Council.
The time frame for that is unclear. FOP President Wade Haubert was absent from last night's meeting, and I neglected to discuss the matter with Chief mark DiLuzio or Solicitor Bill Leeson.