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Charleroi Regional cop may be put back on the work schedule

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A part-time Charleroi Regional police officer removed from the shift schedule last month after his girlfriend was caught allegedly using drugs in his personal vehicle could be reinstated during Wednesday's police board meeting, according to the board chairman.

If approved by the board, patrolman Steve Kenyon will be immediately placed back on the schedule, Charleroi Regional Police Board Chairman Paul Pivovarnik confirmed Tuesday.

Pivovarnik said there would likely be a 30 working day probationary period for Kenyon as part of stipulations made by the board's personnel committee, headed by Speers Mayor Bill Lee.

“I can't say a definite yes, but the personnel committee did meet along with the chief and the solicitor,” Pivovarnik said. “Our recommendation will be given to the board (Wednesday).”

Lee, though, said Tuesday the board had not reached a conclusion and that he had yet to talk to Charleroi Regional Chief Mike Maytas regarding his recommendations.

“It will most likely be brought up at the meeting, but I've not been aware of anything to that effect,” Lee said.

Charleroi Mayor Nancy Ellis, also a member of the police board, refused comment.

Police board Solicitor Christine Cardinale did not return a phone message Tuesday night.

Kenyon was taken off the schedule pending an investigation after Jennifer Crabb, 26, was arrested May 15 and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia while parked in Kenyon's private vehicle in Charleroi.

Crabb's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 8 in front of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins.

“This was a shock type thing when it happened but we as a board decided to err on the side of caution,” Pivovarnik said of the decision to shelve Kenyon. “I can't get into too much, but there were things related to conduct unbecoming an officer. That's why it took this long to come to a decision. ”

The action was not considered a suspension, because only full-time officers can be suspended. In the meantime, Kenyon – a former full-time officer with the now-defunct Fallowfield Township force – had been working his other job as a part-time officer for Monongahela.

Police had said Kenyon was neither present nor aware Crabb had alleged paraphernalia in his Jeep, which contained a portable radio, two police badges belonging to Kenyon, handcuffs, and a loaded .357-caliber revolver registered to Kenyon.

The gun was not a service revolver administered by the police department.

“Technically, he did nothing wrong in the eyes of the law and no complaints surfaced,” Pivovarnik said. “We talked to Monongahela and heard no complaints from there as well. … As a police officer, all eyes are on you and it was a difficult situation for anyone involved.”

Including Maytas, Charleroi Regional currently employs nine full-time officers and seven part-time officers, Pivovarnik said. The force covers the boroughs of Charleroi, North Charleroi and Speers.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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