West Reading Police still without chief
West Reading Borough Council has not revealed when they will name a new police chief following the termination of three officers, including the chief, last month.
"We did have an executive session before tonight's meeting and no new actions will be taken as far as personnel changes are concerned." said Council President Kevin Conrad.
Sgt. Keith Phillips is currently the officer-in-charge following the termination of Police Chief Ed Fabriziani, Officer Ron Ladd, and Sgt. Richard Vetter. Vetter was leading the police force after Fabriziani and Ladd were put on leave following an altercation between the two in August.
In November, all three men were fired by the borough council and Mayor Shane Keller without further explanation, citing possible litigation.
Asked if there was any time table for the council to name a replacement chief Conrad said, " We have not come to any conclusion yet."
It has been an embarrassing year for the West Reading Police Department following multiple accounts of officer misconduct.
Officials say Officer Ladd showed up to a council meeting in August to see what his future was with the force. Ladd had previously told 69 News that he felt he was being mistreated by another officer and went to take his complaint to the chief. It was at that meeting that a fight erupted between then-Chief Fabriziani and Ladd. The two were put on paid leave until they were fired last month. A lawyer for Fabriziani said his client wasn't given any reason for his termination.
In January, three officers were terminated after it was revealed that they improperly used their stun guns at a Halloween party in 2010. Sgt. Matthew Beigley, Sgt. Ryan Phillips, and Officer Nicholas Karetas were all terminated and Officer Matthew Nguyen was suspended for not reporting the incident.
An arbitrator then ruled that although the termination of Beigley was justified, the firings of Phillips and Karetas were "too harsh" and they returned to the force.
As of right now, who will become the next police chief of West Reading is anybody's guess.
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