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North Hills

McCandless police lieutenant suspended for 10 days without pay

Tony LaRussa
| Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, 2:54 p.m.
McCandless police chief David DiSanti, left, and Lt. Jeffrey Basl were placed on paid leave in October while the town conducted a personnel investigation, according to the union representing the police department’s officers.
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McCandless police chief David DiSanti, left, and Lt. Jeffrey Basl were placed on paid leave in October while the town conducted a personnel investigation, according to the union representing the police department’s officers.

McCandless has wrapped up its investigation into one of two police department officials who were suspended with pay in late October.

The police department announced the completion of its investigation into Lt. Jeffrey Basl on Friday afternoon. Basl will serve a 10-day unpaid suspension and then return to duty.

Council has not revealed the behavior that prompted them to suspend Basl and Chief David DiSanti, but a town official said it involves a female officer who accused DiSanti of treating her unfairly because of her gender and engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior toward her.

The official confirmed that Basl was accused of creating an uncomfortable work environment by openly making homophobic jokes at the expense of other officers, using vulgar expressions and gestures to describe sex acts and engaging in other unseemly behavior.

McCandless solicitor Gavin Robb said today that a hearing was conducted on Wednesday evening at which the accusations against Basl were outlined followed by an opportunity for him to challenge the charges.

Basl has been with the department for 23 years. He was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant in August.

The probe into DiSanti’s behavior is ongoing and will be “completed as expeditiously as possible,” Robb said.

DiSanti has not responded to messages from the Tribune-Review seeking comment.

But he told Trib news partner WPXI-TV that he has done nothing wrong and never engaged in any of the behavior in which he is being accused.

In published reports, the chief intimated that the union representing the town’s police officers was at the root of the accusations being leveled against him.

The union sent the municipality a letter in early December detailing a “no confidence” vote its membership conducted in which all but two of the department’s 26 officers questioned the police chief’s ability to continue leading the force.

DiSanti started his career as a rookie officer in McCandless. He was hired in 2016 to replace retiring chief Gary Anderson.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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