Brentwood council censures colleague
Brentwood council members censured colleague Pat Carnevale on May 28 for the “misuse of his position” and “actions unbecoming of an elected official.”
The resolution, which also states that Carnevale violated the borough’s elected official policies, was approved in a 5-2 vote. Carnevale and Councilwoman Jennifer George dissented.
The censure does not place any added restrictions on Carnevale, leaders said.
“It is incumbent upon us as elected officials to hold not only ourselves, but each other, to the highest standard,” Councilman AJ Doyle said. “We as a council have an adopted code of ethics by which we’ve agreed to operate; we must hold each other accountable to that code if we are to be successful.”
Mayor Dennis Troy said he watched council members “deliberate back and forth” on the censure.
“It wasn’t something they took lightly,” he said. “The fact that they took action speaks volumes as to what was going on that needs to be addressed.”
Borough leaders received a written complaint from an employee against councilman Carnevale that prompted an investigation by an outside firm, Doyle said.
“We take any complaint very seriously,” he said.
Brentwood Council members on April 15 voted 5-0 approving a motion for the borough to retain law firm Farrell Reisinger & Comber, LLC to investigate a personnel matter at a cost not to exceed $30,000.
Council members John Frombach and Jennifer George were absent.
Carnevale, 81, has served on Brentwood council since 2012. He is seeking reelection this year and won a nomination to appear on the Democratic ballot in November for one of three open four-year seats on council.
Carnevale, a retired welder who spent many years as a general griever for Local 1843, declined to comment.
The investigation concluded that Carnevale “has made negative comments about several borough employees” which violated the values and code of conduct sections of the borough’s elected officials manual, according to the resolution.
The investigation also concluded that Carnevale “has contacted borough employees directly about borough affairs, and that such contact has interfered with borough employees work,” the resolution stated.
Members of council are not to have direct contact with borough employees, based on requirements outlined in the elected officials manual, the resolution states.
Council members are supposed to contact the borough manager with any needs, Doyle said. The borough manager will connect them with employees, as he is responsible for their productivity, Doyle said.
Doyle said the censure is a “formal rebuke” of Carnevale’s actions.
“This isn’t about politics. It’s about ethics,” he said.
Troy said he hopes the censure “sends a message” that Carnevale needs to “play by the rules and regulations.”
“Let’s hope it’s the end to this and we can move on,” Troy said.