Lehigh Valley

Councilwoman accused of sexual assault resigns

BANGOR, Pa. - A member of the Bangor Borough Council accused of engaging in a clandestine sexual entanglement with a teenage girl offered a letter of resignation during Monday night's reorganization meeting.

Council voted 6-0 to accept the resignation of Stephanie Merlo, who was arrested last month for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl she met while serving as a volunteer volleyball coach at Pius X High School.

Merlo did not attend Monday night's meeting and her resignation was accepted following a lengthy executive session.

President Catherine Allen offered no details of the contents of the letter and said council would advertise to fill Merlo's position.

Merlo, who was appointed in October 2013 to fill a vacant seat on the council created by the departure of Councilman Mario Severi, has previously denied the allegations through her attorney, William Watkins.

She is charged with institutional sexual assault and corruption of minor.

Her vacated term runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

In other business during Monday night's reorganization meeting, James Kresge was elected vice president, Kenneth Brewer III was named president pro-tem, while Allen was voted president.

In addition, Joseph Capozzolo was sworn in as mayor of the borough by U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-17th).

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