Lansford wants suicide report
Lansford Borough Council wants to see a copy of the state police investigation on a high-profile suicide of part-time officer David Midas eight months ago.
On the night of Friday, Oct. 25, Midas, who was also a lieutenant with the Carbon County Sheriff's Department, was off-duty but hopped into a Lansford borough police cruiser, picked up a fellow police officer, then drove to Broadway in Jim Thorpe, where he fatally shot himself.
The investigation of the incident was handled by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Lansford Borough Council voted 4-3 on Wednesday to have its solicitor attempt to get a copy of the report.
In favor of seeking the report were council President Martin Ditsky, Colin Jones, Tommy Vadyak and Samantha Yasson. Opposed were Mary Soberick, Joseph Butrie and Rose Mary Cannon.
Attorney Michael Greek, borough solicitor, said if the state releases the report to the borough, it becomes public record.
He also said the report might be "an investigative file" and not made available.
Vadyak made the motion to obtain the report. He said it is a 27-page document.
"I feel everybody here should be able to read it," he said.
Midas, who was a resident of Weatherly, had a wife and two sons ages 3 and 1 when he committed suicide. His wife was pregnant with their third child.
On that tragic night, Midas was off-duty but went to the police station and took a patrol car.
He then picked up fellow patrolman and best friend Chris Ondrus at Ondrus' Lansford residence.
Midas drove the cruiser to Jim Thorpe with Ondrus as his passenger. He stopped the car in front of a residence at about 7:40 p.m. and shot himself.
It was reported that Ondrus had attempted to take the gun from Midas.
Scanner reports from that night originally indicated that Ondrus was held hostage by Midas.
Ondrus said in an interview with the Times News after the suicide that it wasn't the case. He said Midas had picked him up for someone to talk with.
No motive was ever officially given for the suicide by investigators.
Former Lansford Mayor Ron Hood said Midas had been hired as a part-time police officer in 2002.
Hood had known Midas since they were young, playing on the same Little League team.
Midas was also president of American Fire Co. No. 1 in Lansford, of which Hood is a member.
Hood described him as "easygoing, very outgoing. He got along with everybody. He was just a great guy everybody loved him."