Former Monroeville police chief on leave

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 6:57 p.m.

Former Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole is on paid administrative leave, Mayor Greg Erosenko said on Wednesday.

Municipal manager Lynette McKinney made the ruling on Cole, who was demoted to sergeant in February on Tuesday, Erosenko said. Cole remains on leave pending the outcome of a recent Loudermill hearing.

One hearing last month focused on possible violations of the employee handbook during Cole's tenure as chief.

A Loudermill hearing is part of the “due process” requirement for a government employee prior to removal or disciplinary action. The municipal manager can discipline employees, but Erosenko said that a more prudent approach would have been to wait for the results of a federal investigation. The Department of Health and Human Services is investigating whether there were violations of health care privacy laws when Cole was chief.

Cole and his attorney declined to comment. McKinney was not available for comment.

Cole had been issued a 10-day suspension as the result of a Loudermill hearing in July. He had appealed that suspension.

Some residents say Cole was demoted for political reasons. Earlier in the year, residents packed council meetings in support of the former chief.

McKinney also fired three dispatchers, Erosenko said Wednesday. Their names were not available.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at klawson@tribweb.com or 412-856-7400.

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