BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

What seemed inevitable became official Tuesday night, when Bethlehem City Council fired police officer Richard Hoffman.

Council's decision was unanimous and was made without any discussion.

The termination is retroactive, taking effect last Dec. 20.

That was the date City Council was advised in writing by then City Solicitor John Spirk Jr. about Hoffman's misconduct and the police department's recommendation that he be terminated.

Council determined that the 35-year-old police officer violated the city's code of ethics and Bethlehem police department directives.

Tuesday night's vote follows a Feb. 24 public hearing where the city's police department made its case why Hoffman should be fired.

That hearing lasted more than three-and-a-half hours.

A six-page termination resolution passed by council includes 36 "findings of fact" regarding the case against Hoffman, summarizing many issues raised in last month's hearing.

Hoffman has been a full-time Bethlehem police officer since July 2003.

After the council meeting, Atty. Quintes D. Taglioli, who is representing Hoffman, said council's decision is "not unexpected ...that's all I have to say about it at the moment. We'll proceed with the grievance procedure."

Taglioli explained Hoffman's termination will be litigated through the grievance procedure -- and go to arbitration -- under terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement that the city police union, Bethlehem Lodge 20 of the Fraternal Order of Police, has with the city.

At about 3 a.m. on Aug, 8, 2013, the off-duty Hoffman flipped his car at the intersection of High and E. Broad streets in Bethlehem.

He was charged with careless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol concentration of .16 percent -- twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania.

Council's 7-0 decision was based not only on the August accident, but also on "overwhelming evidence that Officer Hoffman committed numerous prior violations of police department directives."

Those prior violations include the following:

*After being involved in an alcohol related bar fight in Philadelphia on May 14, 2005, Hoffman received a written disciplinary reprimand, in which he acknowledged his guilt as well as his problem with alcohol abuse.

He promised to get help.

During that incident, Hoffman threatened to "bring 20 guys down" to beat a Philadelphia police officer. He was handcuffed and taken to a Philadelphia police station before he was released to Bethlehem police.

At that time, he was warned he would be terminated if any such incident occurred again.

* Hoffman was given a 10-day suspension for failing to follow police procedures when searching a prisoner on Dec. 10, 2010.

That failure allowed that person to take a firearm - a 9 mm. handgun -- into Northampton County Prison.

Marijuana also later was found in the prisoner's pocket.

* When Hoffman was removed from Molly's Irish Pub in Bethlehem for fighting with another patron while off duty on March 16, 2013, "he misused his position as a police officer by threatening to cause trouble for the bar security officer and the bar owner."

* On April 11, 2013, Hoffman violated police procedures by using his Mobile Data Terminal to send "personal and obscene messages, as well as messages disparaging to the police department, to dispatcher Kelly Stefko over a two-hour period."

* Hoffman admitted that, because of his alcohol consumption, he had little or no recollection that he and other police officers were asked to leave a restaurant in Atlantic City, where they had gone on July 13, 2013.