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Irwin council, ex-police chief reach settlement

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

Irwin Council unanimously voted Wednesday night to accept a settlement reached with former police Chief Joe Pocsatko.

Under the agreement, Pocsatko's termination on Jan. 17 was rescinded, and he instead voluntarily resigned. That means Pocsatko leaves with a clean employment record from his time with the Irwin Police Department.

Solicitor Todd Turin declined to discuss details.

"I'm not allowed to talk about anything other than the terms of the settlement," Turin said. "But there was no monetary consideration as part of this agreement, and everything is effective immediately."

Pocsatko, who did not attend the meeting, signed off on the terms of the settlement prior to council's final vote, Turin said.

Pocsatko could not be reached for comment.

According to the settlement, Pocsatko also will withdraw his request for a Civil Service Commission hearing, and is able to apply for unemployment benefits.

It also prohibits Pocsatko and borough officials from discussing the actions leading to the termination and settlement.

Neither Pocsatko nor the borough admit to any wrongdoing, liability or violation of the law by making the agreement.

The settlement also requires the borough to provide Pocsatko with a written job reference, explaining the dates of his employment and position, salary and benefits, and that the borough closed an investigation into his position without adverse actions being taken.

Council president John Cassandro said officials are glad the incident is behind them, and have yet to make any decisions on the future leadership of the department.

"We're talking, but we don't have any decisions on what we're going to do at all," Cassandro said. "The position isn't opened up (for applications) right now."

Cassandro said council plans to keep Officer Dan Wensel as the department's officer- in-charge, making him responsible for its administrative functions.

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