MCCANDLESS (KDKA) — It was a packed meeting of the McCandless Town Council on Monday night with everyone hoping to hear more details about the decision to place the Police Chief David DiSanti on leave along with Police Lt. Jeffrey Basl.
Both are now on administrative leave. No criminal charges have been filed.
Watch John Shumway’s report —
After an executive session that lasted more than an hour and a half, the solicitor said officials need more information before it decides the fate of DiSanti and Basl, but no other additional information was provided on the ongoing investigation.
Gavin Robb read the following statement: “Based on the results of the investigation into allegations of misconduct in the police department, Town Council intends to issue a statement of charges to Chief David DiSanti and Lieutenant Jeffrey Basl. The Town will provide these officers with an opportunity to respond to the charges prior to taking any disciplinary action.”
Those in the audience included many of the 24 McCandless Police officers who just last week cast no confidence votes against DiSanti. Sources have told KDKA-TV News that the investigation involves alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
A female officer accused the chief of trying to kiss her while she was in uniform at his home during a Labor Day gathering. DiSanti also allegedly looked for excuses repeatedly to call the female officer into his office.
Basl allegedly made lewd and inappropriate comments that made for an “uncomfortable work environment.”
- McCandless Police Union Members Vote No Confidence In Chief
- McCandless Police Chief, Lieutenant Placed On Leave
- 2 Members Of McCandless Police Dept. Placed On Leave Pending Investigation
There were mixed opinions among those who spoke out at the meeting.
“Don’t flush a good man away unless you are absolutely sure by a preponderance of evidence. Not talk, not charges, not raw emotion,” Richard Busch said.
“A vote of no confidence really spoke volumes to me. If you don’t have confidence in your leader, you cannot do your job,” another member of the public said.
One man who wanted to speak on behalf of DiSanti, but wasn’t allowed to because he’s not a Township resident, was Robert Fescemyer, the former mayor of Oakmont. DiSanti served as police chief in Oakmont for a decade before getting the chief’s job in McCandless.
“[DiSanti] brought everything to our department. He made our department a way better department than what it was,” Robert Fescemyer told KDKA-TV News after the meeting.
DiSanti was not present at the meeting, but he spoke to KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti over the phone Monday. DiSanti denied any wrongdoing and would not comment further.