North Huntingdon promotes 5 police officers |
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Joe Napsha

The North Huntingdon Police Department has two new lieutenants and three new sergeants.

Sgts. Gregory Arendas and Jay McCurdy were promoted to the rank of lieutenant by the township commissioners Wednesday. Officers Nicholas Dreistadt, William Kauffman and Justin Wardman were promoted to sergeant.

Arendas and McCurdy were the only two eligible to take the lieutenant’s test, while there were about seven officers eligible for the promotion after taking the test for sergeant, said Jeff Silka, township manager.

Arendas and McCurdy are the police department’s first lieutenants since Rodney Mahinske retired from the force last May. Mahinske had been the officer in the charge of the department after the commissioners fired former Chief Andrew Lisiecki in September 2016 in a controversial 4-3 vote.

The three officers replace three former sergeants. Sgts. Jeff Bouldin and David Sage retired last year and Robert Rizzo was a sergeant when he was named the officer in the charge of the department upon Mahinske’s retirement. The commissioners named him as chief last September.

The promotions were approved unanimously, except for Wardman’s. Commissioner Fran Bevan voted “present” — the equivalent of an abstention — on promoting Wardman.

Bevan said she cast that vote because Wardman joined with Officer Mark Hamilton in suing the township in Westmoreland County Court in 2017. The officers claimed they were unpaid while serving on active duty with the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Wardman received $42,000 in an out-of-court settlement the commissioners approved last December.

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