BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) – A community is upset that a police chief accused of stealing wages and threatening officers has not yet been fired.
They let council members know about it during a meeting on Tuesday night.
It was standing room only at the Ambridge Borough Council meeting. Among the crowd, a dozen or so Ambridge police officers.
Their suspended chief, James Mann, was charged last summer with, among other things, obstruction of the law, and harassing Ambridge police.
Before that, the borough suspended Mann with pay, then, when the criminal charges were filed, he was put on unpaid suspension. At the same time, Mann is under investigation on several workplace sexual harassment complaints.
This latest council meeting heard repeated calls for council members to take immediate steps against the suspended police chief.
One woman said, “you need to fire Jimmy Mann for what he did to them and a lot of other people in this Borough.”
Karen Molinaro complained that the suspended chief was rude to her when her daughter was arrested on drug charges. And she alleged Mann made sexually suggestive remarks to her about her other daughter.
Molinaro explained, “Chief Mann said how about bringing her down here to sit on my lap and we’ll talk about the charges we’ll drop on Carrie.”
The Borough Solicitor read a lengthy open letter, explaining why members of council have been reluctant to talk about the Mann investigation citing due process. He said the reported lack of communication with police was misconstrued and misinterpreted.
Solicitor Richard Start told the meeting “all claims, matters and complaints have been investigated, are being investigated, have been addressed, or they will be addressed and responded to.”
Last December, the Ambridge Police Union approved a no confidence vote in Chief Mann, the Solicitor, and Council members.
Sgt. Glen Sovich, of the Ambridge Police Bargaining Union, said after the Tuesday night meeting “we’re excited that the line of communication is open again, and we’re looking forward to building a relationship back with the Borough.”