Charleroi Regional ousts police officer
The Charleroi Regional Police Board on Wednesday terminated the employment of part-time police Officer Steve Kenyon, citing “conduct unbecoming an officer,” according to two board members.
Acting upon the recommendation of its personnel committee, the board ousted Kenyon behind a 6-1 vote. Kenyon will receive a letter informing him of the decision.
“It's somewhat of a surprise to me,” board Chairman Paul Pivovarnik said of the vote. “There was a lengthy conversation during executive session, and that's what came to pass.”
Pivovarnik, a Charleroi councilman, cast the lone opposition vote.
Speers Mayor Bill Lee, Charleroi Mayor Nancy Ellis, North Charleroi Mayor Lee Hall, Charleroi Councilman Randy DiPiazza, North Charleroi Councilman Bob Hodgson and Speers Councilman Regis Carroll voted in favor of termination.
The board had removed Kenyon from the work schedule in May after his girlfriend was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia while parked in Kenyon's private vehicle in Charleroi.
Lee, head of the personnel committee, was unavailable for comment Wednesday night.
Hall agreed the decision was somewhat surprising, but opinions changed after a nearly 90-minute discussion among board members.
“Steve was considered a pretty good police officer, so this made it a very difficult thing to do,” Hall said, “But we felt that in the best interest of Charleroi Regional Police, we had to send a message.”
Both Hall and Pivovarnik said the decision was based on a month-long investigation and input from Charleroi Regional police Chief Mike Matyas.
“Everything was carefully thought out and thoroughly discussed,” Hall said. “There are certain occupations where you have to be held to a higher standard, such as law enforcement and teachers, and I think it should be that way.”
Pivovarnik previously expected the board to place Kenyon, a veteran of the former Fallowfield Township force and a current patrolman for Monongahela, back on the work schedule.
“I stood by my position of putting him back on the schedule with a probationary period and a set of guidelines,” Pivovarnik said.
“I can't say much, because it was a personnel issue. But they really went on the question of conduct unbecoming an officer.”
Pivovarnik noted there were never any formal complaints or disciplinary action against Kenyon during his service with Charleroi Regional.
He added the board will look into hiring another part-time officer for a shorthanded force as the vacation season approaches.
Matyas did not return two messages seeking comment.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Monongahela church closing appealed
- Fallowfield revisits local police coverage
- Boatman: Many women face unique problems
- Belle Vernon man facing child sex assault charges
- Mon Valley Financial Seminar Series continues
- Van Voorhis man charged for Monessen cell incident
- Monessen mayor eyes city hall return
- Ringgold senior Umbel introduced to politics as Senate page
- Monessen man accused of hiding stash of heroin
- Mon Valley Regional Chamber fetes award-winners at dinner
- Reader requests more from ’44 on ‘This Day’ journey