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Charleroi Regional reinstates fired officer

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

A Charleroi Regional Police officer who was terminated in June is back on the force.

The Charleroi Regional Police Board voted at its August meeting to reinstate part-time Officer Steve Kenyon.

In the 4-3 vote, Speers Mayor Bill Lee, Speers Councilman Regis Carroll and North Charleroi Mayor Lee Hall opposed the action.

Board President Paul Pivovarnik, a Charleroi councilman; Charleroi Mayor Nancy Ellis; North Charleroi Councilman Bob Hodgson and Charleroi Councilman Randy DiPiazza voted yes.

In June – acting on the recommendation of its personnel committee – the board ousted Kenyon, citing “conduct unbecoming an officer.”

At that meeting, Pivovarnik cast the lone opposition vote. Lee, Ellis, Hall, DiPiazza, Bob Hodgson and Carroll voted to terminate Kenyon.

Kenyon was removed from the work schedule in May after his then-girlfriend, Jenn Crabb, of Charleroi, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The day Crabb was arrested she was parked in Kenyon's private vehicle in Charleroi.

He was not there at the time.

The decision to terminate Kenyon was based on a month-long investigation and input from Charleroi Regional police Chief Mike Matyas.

A grievance was filed on Kenyon's behalf by Teamsters Local 205, which represents the Charleroi Regional Police officers. Union representative Carl Bailey said the termination was unjust.

In addition to being reinstated, Kenyon will be reimbursed for six days pay, Bailey said.

“I was there last week and found out he had not yet been reinstated,” Bailey said.

“It was a misunderstanding, and they said he will be reinstated.”

“I believe he made an error in judgment, and I didn't think he should have been reinstated,” Lee said in explaining his August vote.

Lee said his fellow board members were concerned about the grievance, but the Speers mayor preferred to have the case heard by a grievance arbitrator.

He acknowledged, though, that the board majority ultimately decided the case.

Also a Monongahela police officer, Kenyon served as officer in charge for the Fallowfield Township Police Department, which was disbanded at the end of 2010.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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