Court denies ex-Rush chief's contempt petition
Rush Township supervisors will render a decision at their meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 17, based on the findings of fact by a hearing officer in the complaint filed by Robert J. Romanick, former township chief of police. Romanick was removed as chief and his request to hold the supervisors in contempt was dismissed.
Attorney Robert T. Yurchak, representing the township and supervisors, gave the information to Judge John E. Domalakes at a hearing held Tuesday in the Schuylkill County court on a petition filed by Romanick to hold the supervisors in contempt for failing to state in writing the reason for his removal.
At the hearing the two attorneys, Attorney Richardson T. Eagan, for Romanick, and Yurchak agreed to certain stipulations.
The supervisors and Romanick did agree a hearing was held on Jan. 27, 2010, before an indedpendent hearing officer. Attorney Anthony James Scallion, of Luzerne County, was chosen. They also agreed that a full day of testimony was conducted on Jan. 27, 1010, and continued to Feb. 23, 2010, when additional testimony was taken and that the parties agreed that they would be given until May 3, 2010, to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the hearing officer.
The two attorneys also stipuilated that both parties did so in a timely manner and that the hearing officer did not submit his report to the board of supervisors until May 2.
Domalakes noted the hearing officers report came on the eve of the scheduled court hearing. Yurchak told the court he was informed Scallion was injured in a fall from a ladder which disabled him for several months.
Domalakes ruled the supervisors did provide Romanick with a statement of charges in a timely fashion and also provided him with a hearing in a timely fashion and that the delay in the supervisors making a final decision was occasioned by the hearing officer who has now submitted his report to the township.
"The Township and Board of Supervisors did not willfully violate the court order and the petition for contempt is denied," ruled Domalakes.