McCandless police chief returns to duty after suspension
McCandless police Chief David DiSanti returned to work Feb. 18 after agreeing to a corrective action plan developed after he was suspended from duty when a female officer accused him of engaging in inappropriate behavior toward her, officials said.
DiSanti was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 29 while town officials investigated the allegations from the female officer and two other woman who have ties to the police department but are not employees.
The female police officer also accused the chief of treating her unfairly because of her gender.
On Jan. 21, DiSanti’s status was changed to suspended without pay pending development of a corrective action plan he was required to agree to and begin implementing before being allowed to return to duty.
Town officials declined to release details of the accusations made against DiSanti or the terms of the corrective action plan, which town attorney Gavin Robb called “an internal, confidential document.”
Town officials also have declined to publicly discuss accusations made against a second officer in the department.
The same female officer who leveled charges against DiSanti alleged that Lt. Jeffrey Basl created an uncomfortable work environment by, among other things, openly making homophobic jokes and using vulgar expressions and gestures to describe sex acts.
Basl was allowed to return to work after serving a 10-day unpaid suspension.
While officials have been mostly mum on the whether or not they support the chief’s return, some took to social media to comment on the decision to give DiSanti a pathway back.
“I disagree with the (corrective action) plan and have serious concerns that it has caused irreparable damage between the police force and council, and the police force and chief,” Councilman Steve Mertz posted. “I would think if the chief cares for the (police) force as much as he says he does, he would resign on his own because of that fact alone.”
Council President Kim Zachary used social media to say she didn’t want to develop a corrective action plan for the chief, she wanted a chief who doesn’t require an action plan.
In addition to carrying out the terms of the corrective action plan, DiSanti will have to work to repair relationships with the officers under his command.
After the chief was placed on administrative leave, the union representing McCandless police officers took a “no confidence” vote in which all but two of the department’s 26 officers questioned DiSanti’s ability to continue leading the force.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .