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.
Good riddance to bad news!
adiós horribles, servidor público
It seems your attempt to garner support from the masses didn't work out so well. The council found the public was solidly behind getting rid of him.
Arbitration is where the REAL decision on firing a police officer is made. The action by Council is not really relevant. In arbitration, real "cases" will be made with 110 percent effort from both sides. The arbitration will be closed so no press or public will be able to view.
Yes indeed, and in this upcoming arbitration, ALL the facts regarding this guy will come out, including countless times of showing up late for work, being sent home for being impaired while on duty, and several cases of using excessive force that the City settled out of court to the tune of more than $150,000...
4:51, I said from the onset he would be fired by City Council. The arbitration will be far different. 7:23 is using evidence that does not exist, which is why he remains anonymous..
Actually, I've seen his file and that is why I am anonymous. We will all have a nice 'I told you so moment' when your predictions turn out to be inaccurate. You will lie, deflect and accuse the arbitrators of being incompetent.
Never said you didn't say that. Your intent was obviously aimed at trying to convince people a drunken sod with a badge should be supported..
8:44, I agree we will have an. "I told you so" moment. Officer Hoffman will prevail in arbitration and you will still be an anonymous coward who obviously is no judge of ethical behavior.
And Ohare knows about unethical behavior.
Sure I do. I recognize it very well and from personal experience. And I've learned that things like reviewing someone's personnel file, and then commenting on it anonymously, are unethical. You know it, too, which is why you are anonymous.
Edgar, wanna bet about the arbitration? If he wins you can give me an Alabama hot pocket, he loses you win a blumpkin.
Bernie, I wasn't there but, three reporters reporting the exact same findings: Were you at the same hearing?
WFMZ: "During the hearing, council learned about other reprimands he received from the department and other incidents in which police officials said alcohol played a role in his belligerent behavior – including one where he allegedly grabbed a man by the throat and threatened a south Bethlehem bar owner and his bouncer. Those incidents and reprimands sporadically occurred during most of the years Hoffman was with the police department, beginning in 2005 when he threatened a Philadelphia police officer who handcuffed and detained him."
Express Times: "In addition to the drunken-driving incident, city officials made their case against Hoffman over two instances of on-duty misconduct and four alcohol-related incidents that occurred off duty.The off-duty incidents include assaulting a Philadelphia officer and threatening the owner of a Bethlehem bar while drunk, officials have said. During the drunken-driving incident, Hoffman struck a parked car and rolled his own while allegedly having a 0.16 blood-alcohol content, twice the legal limit."
MCall: "A few hours before Hoffman was to report for work that morning, he left the Fraternal Order of Police hall where he had been drinking and his sport utility vehicle hit three parked cars on East Broad Street, authorities said. After the crash, police said, Hoffman's blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit. City officials launched an internal investigation and recommended in December that he be terminated. The investigation included other alcohol-related offenses, including one from 2005 that resulted in his being disciplined, according to a memo reporting on the findings.
Hoffman received a written reprimand for the 2005 dispute and was warned similar behavior in the future could lead to his termination, according to testimony at last week's termination hearing.
According to an interdepartmental memo detailing the city's investigation into the crash, Hoffman gave two accounts about the cause of the crash. On the morning of the crash, he told investigating officers he swerved to avoid a pedestrian. In an investigative interview weeks later, Hoffman said he "was distracted looking at his cellphone to read an incoming text."
According to the memo, an on-duty police officer who witnessed the crash said Hoffman "did not swerve or screech the brakes and drove straight into the parked cars." The memo says the witnessing officer said there was no pedestrian. Police said Hoffman's blood-alcohol content was 0.16 percent, double the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania.
The memo says Hoffman violated two police directives — "providing untruthful and misleading statements about what occurred immediately prior to the accident," and driving under the influence and careless driving. The memo also states that Hoffman violated the city's code of ethics "after crashing into parked vehicles and flipping his vehicle after an evening of alcohol consumption and just a few hours prior to when he was scheduled to report to work."
There was no hearing last night. In fact, during the hearing, there was no accusation that Officer Hoffman gave misleading explanations. The interdepartmental memo was leaked to the media on an effort to convict Hoffman in the press, but was not part of the evidence in the hearing. When Hoffman has an opportunity to present his side of the story before a body that is not subject to the mob, he will prevail.
Nurse Ratchet, the only person who has ever referred to me as Edgar is Mezzacappa. These are pretty grotesque sexual acts, and I can 'to understand that they serve any purpose other than to debase you. If people like you are screaming for Officer Hoffman's head, he's in good shape.
Those reports are from the hearing. All three professional reporters are wrong? The testimony was that he admitted to the Philly incident. He was given a second chance and the 2nd chance was used when he hit the three parked cars with a blood alcohol level 2X the DUI limit and then lied to investigators. His fellow officers witnessed the accident and testified against him. Regardless if a report was leaked by someone or not, it still is factual. Stop enabling!
I just got done telling you that some of the information leaked to the news accounts was not presented at the hearing. The news accounts are not wrong. You are wrong to presume evidence was presented that was not presented, and at a hearing that you admit you did not attend. But in reality, you have no interest in this matter. Your sole purpose is to contradict me.
They chose to not bring up the other incidents because that know he will go to arbitration. There, he will get to have his say, and the City will present everything. Just like they did with Schlener.
What is an Alabama hot pocket??
Wait, he admitted to the incident with the Phil. officer and was given a warning of termination?
2,3 and 4 strikes, he is done!
I feel better about my wife and children being on Bethlehem's streets
I hope he finds the help he needs.
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