Penn Township employee charged with assault to receive $45,000 severance
The Penn Township official who has been charged with simple assault and harassment for allegedly pointing guns at municipal employees on several occasions will receive a severance package of almost $45,000.
Township commissioners voted 4-0 Wednesday to pay Community Development Director Dallas Leonard two lump sums of $22,465.89 each. These include payments for Leonard's unused vacation days and sick days.
Westmoreland County detectives arrested Leonard last month.
He will officially retire at the end of November, though he has not worked in several months.
He will be eligible for his pension.
Leonard also serves as a Penn-Trafford school director.
“Eventually people retire. Dallas was of age to retire,” said commission chairman Edward Sullivan. “Certainly the circumstances weren't something we were expecting.”
According to court records, township employees told detectives that Leonard, 65, collected firearms and regularly brought them to the municipal building to show off.
On several occasions he pointed the weapons at employees, then would “laugh it off” when they expressed concerns, according to detectives.
Leonard has worked for the township more than 25 years. He suffered an injury several months ago and was receiving workers' compensation payments from July 12 through Sept. 15.
His salary was $77,000 a year.
“Dallas was an excellent employee of the township,” Sullivan said. “We just couldn't drag this thing out any longer... we're glad we can have an agreement.”
Township Manager Alex Graziani said Leonard had been talking about retiring, but his arrest hastened the process.
“For both parties there was an interest in seeing his employment come to an end,” he said.
He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Oct. 31 before District Judge Charles Conway.
A phone call to Leonard late Wednesday for comment was not immediately returned.
Commissioners appointed Bill Roberts, the township's community development technician, as interim community development director Wednesday.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Soolseem.