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Irwin police chief put on leave

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Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 4:22 p.m.

Irwin Council has placed police Chief Joe Pocsatko on paid administrative leave from the department.

Officials did not disclose the reason that the chief is on leave.

“He's not fired, but there is a legal procedure going on where he isn't allowed in the office at all, and I can't say much more than that right now,” said Mayor Dan Rose.

Council President John Cassandro and manager Mary Benko declined to comment.

Pocsatko, 34, declined to discuss the situation.

“I've got some personal issues to clear up,” Pocsatko said in a written statement.

Pocsatko went on worker's compensation in October after he broke his hand in a scuffle with a North Huntingdon man in the police station.

He planned to return in December but was placed on administrative leave before Christmas, Rose said.

Officer Dan Wensel will handle the department's administrative functions in the chief's absence.

Council named Pocsatko as chief in 2010 with an annual salary of $42,400 after former Chief John Karasek retired. He manages a roster of three full-time and 10 part-time officers.

Pocsatko's 18-year career in law enforcement includes 13 years with the Irwin police department.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or

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