Homestead Civil Service testing issues unresolved
Homestead is discussing the possibility of hiring another part-time police officer to its police force.
Borough officials talked about the status of the hiring process last week.
“In regards to the new police officer, we still haven't received our list from the Civil Service Commission,” Councilwoman Zaneta Hines said.
Homestead Civil Service Commission chairman Duane Schulte told council he called borough manager Ian McMeans eight times about the status of the Civil Service testing and never got a call back.
Schulte said the written test for a new part-time officer was given and he talked to McMeans after that. He said he told McMeans to contact him if he needed any help to get law enforcement contacts for the oral interview exams.
“When we talked, his response to me was, ‘I don't want to use any local officials because I don't want anything tainted with this process. So I am going to get officials from outside the area,'” Schulte said. “That's the last communication I had from him.”
“We didn't hire last year either and we were budgeted,” Homestead police Chief Jeff DeSimone said. “You're telling me this process has been going on for two years?”
Schulte said there was re-testing last fall.
Councilman Drew Borcik said the borough Civil Service Commission usually conducts the process, but now the borough manager is handling it.
Schulte said McMeans indicated he was going through with procedures to hire a new officer and should have called him if he was overwhelmed with work.
Councilman Lloyd Cunningham questioned how the borough manager is involved with the hiring process of a new officer if the Civil Service Commission is an independent body from council.
“There's no reason for the borough to be doing it,” Homestead solicitor Bernie Schneider said. “But if the commission wanted it done by the borough, the borough has a duty to do that. The manager has no independent right to insert himself into the process if the commission doesn't want him inserted into the process.”
Cunningham said if the Civil Service Commission isn't getting satisfaction out of McMeans, it needs to handle the officer applicants itself.
Schulte said maybe someone is telling McMeans to delay the process.
“I'm willing to take it over 100 percent because it's been dragging on for too long,” he said. “But I don't know what the current status is.”
McMeans said he hasn't got together a full interview committee yet. He apologized for not returning Schulte's call because he said he has been overwhelmed with work recently.
“There was an issue that developed with the last promotional exam,” Schulte said. “I don't necessarily need to go into detail now, but I wanted that test thrown out. I didn't have the votes. I don't know if the borough manager told council what went on, but I'm not going to discuss that now.”
He declined to elaborate after the meeting why he wanted the last promotional exam thrown out.
Council promoted two officers to corporals and one corporal to sergeant in March 2012.
Borcik said council just found out Thursday night that one of the candidates complained that another candidate went to the bathroom for approximately 15 minutes during the written exam and could have used a smartphone to look up answers.
Borcik said he spoke to Civil Service Commission solicitor George Gobel about the complaint on Friday.
“The solicitor said, ‘There's nothing in your rules or regulations that prohibit that,'” he said. “He said we were free to add that if we felt there was a problem.”
Borcik said there's no proof that one of the candidates used his phone to look up answers.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- Forward Township couple, Florida man arrested in drug sting
- Report identifies Mon-Yough residents who are at risk in train disasters
- Suspect in multiple Mon Valley armed robberies arrested
- Winter weather likely to shorten summer vacation, delay commencement in East Allegheny
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
- Mon Valley officials optimistic salt supplies will last
- Wilmerding has big plans for borough’s 125th anniversary
- Steel Valley to post teacher, administrator salaries online
- McKeesport heritage center event recognizes famous black Mon Valley musicians