Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter
ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – The Aliquippa solicitor confirms the city’s police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave. However, he said it has nothing to do with an ongoing murder investigation involving a former teacher.
Solicitor Myron Sainovich said Police Chief Don Couch had no idea what was about to happen when he walked into an Aliquippa Council meeting Wednesday night.
“Last evening, for personnel issues, they decided they were going to place the police chief on administrative leave. There was speculation and some innuendo that this is in some way related to the [Rachael DelTondo] murder. That is completely false, that has nothing to do with it,” Sainovich said.
He said council members had discussed the matter and held a short executive session prior to the council meeting.
“It’s an issue related to him and his performance with his job and with police officers, that’s why he’s placed on administrative leave,” Sainovich said.
Chief Couch was escorted out of council chambers and turned in his badge, gun and police vehicle.
“There are no allegations that he has done anything illegal. If we believed that he would have been suspended without pay,” Sainovich said.
This is reportedly related to the long-term, ongoing investigation into the Aliquippa Police Department by the State Attorney General’s office, State Police, and federal authorities.
The most recent component of that case is the investigation into DelTondo’s death. She was gunned down on Mother’s Day weekend in her family’s driveway.
The probe into the Aliquippa Police Department began last November after a police report was improperly leaked to the media. Those documents pertained to officers finding DelTondo and an underage male in a parked car together.
Chief Couch will be off the job until further notice.