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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, October 26, 2015

How Nazareth Police Officers Get Harrassed

Earlier this month, I told you about a recent state study concerning Nazareth's mismanaged police department. My story was picked up by The Express Times about a week later. The report, prepared by Pennsylvania's DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development), pretty much condfirms what I have been saying since last July. The only persons who somehow are managing to do their jobs are the officers themselves. They are somehow coping, despite a micromanaging Borough Council and Mayor, a paranoid Chief and a Deputy Chief whose sole role seems to be to get rid of the police union. This study is calling for a "truce" between the warring factions, but that message appears to be going nowhere.

The most recent evidence of how wacky things are can be found in the arbitration of police discipline imposed on Officer Steve Schleig for the way he responded to and wrote up a traffic accident, as well as a claim he made for overtime. It's really chicken shit, and i can't believe that the Borough goes to such ridiculous lenghts with these officers.

Overtime. - Officer Schleig worked an overtime assignment without the express approval of Chief Thomas Trachta. He was disciplined, filed a grievance, and won. Then, for reasons that only he knows, Deputy Chief Randy Miller disciplined Schleig again for the very same infraction. Amazingly, officers had to take the matter to arbitration to get the matter thrown out as double jeopardy, "which runs counter to the concepts of fairness and due process that are embodied in just cause."

Miller is Bethlehem's former Police Commissioner and Northampton County's former Sheriff. He should know better, but obviously is under pressure to harass good cops.

Traffic accident. - Now this is a good one. On August 9, 2014 a former member of Council, one who resigned in disgrace after twice being found passed out in his car with a bottle of vodka, was tooling down Pine Street and ran smack dab into a pickp truck backing out of a driveway, driven by a former police officer in another jurisdiction.

Schleig took the details and sent everyone on their merry way, but was disciplined after the former member of council called to complain about the way Schleigh wrote up the accident. Chief Trachta wanted to give Scheig 20 years in the electric chair, and was convinced that Schleig was slanting things in favor of the ex-cop onstead of the drunken former Council member.

The arbitrator found that Trachta was full of shit. Deputy Miller investigated, determined that Schlieg mixed up Unit 1 and 2, but could find no evidence of bias. And the arbitrator concluded that Trachta's testimony "on the chain of events was far from certain and often changing." That was a polite way of calling him a liar.

Because Schelig admitted he had screwed up about Unit 1 and Unit 2, the arbitrator ruled that counseling was appropriate. But that's it.

What disturbs me is that this nonsense cost $5,700 to resolve, and was totally unnecessary. It also bothers me that people like this former Council member are clearly trying to influence police work.


Anonymous said...

as the asshole turns series continues. randy miller used to be a fine cop. unfortunately he is undermining his own legacy. look in the mirror, randy.

Anonymous said...

Officer Miller is very immature in his actions, I've seen it many times over.

Anonymous said...

Millers only pressure is to keep his 40 dollar an hour part-time job by creating issues. Nazareth needs to close shop and move on.
This article concerning Schlieg is proof the officers and management are out of control.If he is so upset with his treatment as an officer why would he stay in Nazareth? Surely he must realize he is not needed in Nazareth nor is it going to change.

Anonymous said...

Look into the 05/04/15 accident that was thrown out because the police officer used white out on the report. Callum Malone was the driver, he flipped his car over and exited the vehicle, was drunk, fled the scene. NO charges because the officer never showed up to court and the police report was filled out by a moron.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:08, Your point is ridiculous. You are suggesting that when police officers are treated like shit by meddling fools who obviously want a force that caters to Council members and even former Council members, they should just quietly go away. Randy Miller is part of this top heavy department, and his marching orders are to get rid of the full-timers with chicken shot discipline like you see above. Now wouldn't it make more sense to have someone like Miller actually protecting citizens? If he is such an expert on police work, he should be doing some of it. Has he gone on one patrol? In the meantime, it seems all of borough council and the mayor are running the department, using it for their pals. That's why Donello was so worked up when Officer Schwab dared cite him after an accident. That is why a former Council member who resigned in disgrace over his inability to hold his liquor was able to inspire an investigation into the actions of a police officer who responded to an accident involving him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:58, Who cares whether there is white out? Seriously. That's a question that can be raised by the defense, for what good it will do, but should never affect the decision whether to file charges.

Anonymous said...

Maybe like Mt Rushmore, S Rock can carve these three stooges into the side of the quarry for all to see. LOL Nazareth's finest. A Mayor facing criminal charges, a Chief no one likes whos has multiple lawsuits, and a Deputy Chief who brags about never loosing, but lost an arbitration hearing to Officer Schielg on due process and double jeopardy. And a council who feels they can do what ever they want. Word on the street is when Donello caused an accident he was telling people, I'm a council member, I'm a council member. I praise the Officers of Nazareth who stand up to these tyrants and aren't afraid to jerk their chins. The Mayor will be spending his days in a cell without a window, the Chief will be sued out of town, and DC Miller will be laughed into his personal consulting business, and in the end the Officers and tax payers will be the true victims of the Boros ways. Karma is a bitch and its coming full circle.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, coming to meeting on Thursday? I heard it,s going to be very imformitive. Cant help but laugh at ad,s running for council members. Honesty, working for taxpayers. lol

Anonymous said...

I see happy the clown spent most of Halloween night kissin up at the firestation.