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LAWRENCE COUNTY The firing of chief is upheld



Published: Thu, January 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former police chief said he will appeal the decision.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A Lawrence County judge has upheld the decision of Pulaski Township supervisors to fire William Hogue, the township's former police chief.

Supervisors dismissed Hogue in December 2000, saying they were not convinced he was cured of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms he suffered after being the first police officer to arrive at the scene of a quadruple homicide in 1994. They also noted that Hogue's police certification had expired.

The former police chief has been off work since Nov. 2, 1996, when he took an unpaid leave of absence.

Filed suit: Hogue filed a lawsuit appealing the decision to dismiss him, saying that supervisors used medical reports from 1996 to make their decision and asked for a court hearing at which he would provide up-to-date medical evidence about his conviction.

Judge Dominick Motto of common pleas court denied Hogue's appeal, stating in his decision that the 1996 medical evidence was relevant and that testimony at the hearing revealed Hogue had let his police officer's certification expire.

In his decision: "It is clear from the case law that certification is of vital importance. Evidence from the commission in charge of monitoring officers showed Hogue did not maintain his certification," Motto wrote in his decision.

Hogue said he plans to appeal Motto's decision to Commonwealth Court.

"I'll take this to the highest court I have to go to," he said.

Hogue served as Pulaski's police chief for 14 years. The chief's job is one of only two full-time police posts in the township.




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