Share This Page

Monroeville council member says didn't discuss former chief with interim manager

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Monroeville Council member Diane Allison said last week that although she was displeased with former police Chief Doug Cole's performance, she did not discuss demoting him with interim manager Lynette McKinney.

Allison said she wasn't happy with the fact that Cole didn't have a list of ready-to-hire officers to fill vacancies created by police retirements and that she did voice her displeasure about that with former municipal manager Jeff Silka.

However, she said she did not have such a discussion with Silka's replacement — McKinney — prior to McKinney's decision to demote Cole on Feb. 1.

Silka told Solicitor Bruce Dice in January that he had been given an ultimatum by four council members to demote Cole or be removed from his position. He resigned Jan. 30.

Allison said she never has asked McKinney — who was elevated to the interim manager's position with the support of Allison and three other council members — about her reasons for demoting Cole two days after she was named interim manager. Officially, Cole's demotion was labeled as “without cause.”

When asked why she wouldn't have such a discussion at least after the demotion took place, Allison said it was because she thought it was justified.

“Truthfully, because I had no issues with it,” Allison said.

But, she said, she did not discuss the possibility of Cole's demotion prior to the fact.

Cole, demoted to sergeant, has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Allison, the municipality and four other officials in Common Pleas Court.

Section 703 of the Home Rule Charter states, “Neither the mayor nor council nor any of its committees of members shall direct or request the appointment to or removal from office or employment by the manager of any subordinate.”

Brian Estadt is the editor of the Times Express. He can be reached at bestadt@tribweb.com or 412-856-7400.

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.