Plainfield police chief fired

Dean Ceraul had been at the helm for 10 years

Author: , WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published: Dec 11 2013 07:47:25 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 12 2013 06:24:28 AM EST
Where s the Plainfield police chief
PLAINFIELD TWP., Pa. -

The 10-year tenure of Plainfield Township Police Chief Dean Ceraul ended Wednesday night.

The Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to terminate Ceraul's contract amid allegations of misconduct, neglect of official duties and conduct unbecoming, according to township labor attorney Scott Blissman.

Supervisor chairman Randy Heard said Ceraul was placed on administrative leave without pay on Nov. 6, following a year-long investigation concerning the allegations.

Blissman said Ceraul will receive a letter concerning his termination. However, under the terms of Ceraul's contract, he is eligible for arbitration. Blissman said Ceraul's attorney has already corresponded with Plainfield Township concerning arbitration.

"The investigation took a considerable amount of time," Heard said. "There are many specifics and because of the arbitration, the board will have no further comment at this time."

Heard and Blissman said that Ceraul wouldn't be eligible for severance pay or other separation benefits if it's found he was terminated for just cause.

Blissman said the facts surrounding the termination could be made public in several forms once an arbitrator makes a determination, but declined to speculate further.

Heard said Plainfield Township Police Officer Christopher Ryan was placed in charge of the department's day-to-day operations, but has not been named police chief.

"The department is running fine so far," Heard said. "We haven't discussed (naming a chief)."

Heard said Ceraul's firing has nothing to do with the possible forming of a regional Slate Belt police force with neighboring Pen Argyl and Wind Gap.

In other business, supervisors passed a 2014 operating budget of $3.082 million, with $2.896 million in the general fund and $186,000 in the highway fund. Treasurer Virginia Koehler said the general fund increased by $16,000, or about one-half of one percent.

Plainfield Township real estate taxes will not increase for the third consecutive year with the millage rate staying at 6.5 mills. That means a homeowner with a property assessed at $50,000 will continue to pay $325 per year in real estate taxes.