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Cops, Courts & Fire -Morrisville Borough

Morrisville Police Cpl Trial Continued until March

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Morrisville police Cpl Michael Pitcher’s criminal trial was continued Monday the day before it was scheduled begin til March 24.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the proceedings said the trial for the veteran police corporal has been rescheduled due to judges scheduling and Pitcher’s attorney, Louis Busico being on trial in another matter.

This reporter broke the story of Pitcher’s arrest when he was charged in July with felony unlawful use of police computers, misdemeanor charges of terroristic threats, official oppression and harassment of a Yardley man.

The 12 year police veteran was suspended with pay by the Morrisville Council in July, which lead to the hiring of a part-time officer Gary Forrester, at the request of Police Chief George McClay.

Pitcher’s arrest, deepened a rift between the then majority on council and McClay.

The cash strapped borough was limited in terms of what it could do to replace Pitcher’s hours on the streets, with McClay wanting a full timer hired, and council approving a part -time hiring, instead.

Attorneys for the borough’ were concerned with the the potentiality of a law suit if they hired a full timer, thinking it would publicly signal a perception they believed Pitcher would be eventually convicted.

At the time of Pitcher’s suspension, borough Solicitor, Flager & Associates, PC representative Michael Levine said, only action for council to take at this time is to suspend the officer with pay because the officer has due process rights citing the Confidence in Law Enforcement Act -signed into law in January 2009-, which enables municipalities to take action when a public safety officer is accused of a crime.

Then Council President, Debbie Smith would say we have a ghost employee on our books and until the case is fully adjudicated hiring a full time officer was not the prudent thing to do at the time for the cash strapped municipality.

McClay “frustrated” with councils stance said, “We are maintaining our manpower on the street to service our citizens while being at very minimal staffing level. in July.

At the council reorganization meeting last week, the new majority moved on hiring back one police officer.

Cops, Courts & Fire -Morrisville Borough

Morrisville Borough Manager, Councilman Resign, Interim Mgr & New Police Chief Hired

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Tuesday night’s Morrisville Borough Council meeting was filled with comings and goings of officials.

Almost three years to the day when Lower Bucks Source reported Morrisville Borough hired a new manager, Judith Danko turned in her resignation Tuesday.

She was hired months after the tragic passing of Scott Mitchell.

Her resignation is effective as of June 22nd.

Judith Darko
Credit: Kutztown Borough

Danko, whose salary was prorated upon hire, according to borough documents obtained through an open records request, was paid $135 K annually with a performance review clause.  If approved by council, that will bring her yearly salary to $140,000.00 annually. When hired,  she declined to answer question related to traveling back and forth from Morrisville to her home in the Bethlehem area.  A Lower Bucks Source 2021 open records request of her contract did not spell out the specifics of a pay-back plan for the cash strapped municipality at the time.

The Bucks County Courier Times, around the time budget discussions were ramping up, reported the borough paid for Danko’s  hotel stays and Pennsylvania Turnpike fees.

She brought with her  has over 20 years of borough management experience serving Slatington Borough (2017-2018), Freemansburg on two separate occasions for a total of 15 years and Bath Borough for just over 7 and 1/2 years when hired. 

Bristol Borough Manager Jim Dillon agreed to temporarily take on an interim role in Morrisville as he maintains his fulltime duties in Bristol Borough.  Both boroughs are similar in population size.

Dillon did not respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

Morrisville Borough Council President Helen Hlahol, at Tuesday night’s meeting, thanked Bristol for allowing Dillon to help.

Council also approved the hiring of Richard Ciampa as the new Chief of Police.

In recent weeks, then Officer in Charge William Smith, turned down offers from Morrisville to lead the police department sources told this publication.

The borough terminated former Chief George McClay late last year. 

Credit: YouTube Screen Shot

McClay told Patch.com he reached an agreement with Morrisville for $200 K as  part of  a termination settlement, last month.

Councilman John Vitarelli’s submitted his letter of resignation as third ward councilman  effective June 18, 2024.

The borough is currently taking applications to fill the vacancy.

Mayor Gary Wallace did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story Thursday morning.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Morrisville Borough

Morrisville Police Seek Help Finding “Run Away” Teen

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On June 12, 2024 at approximately 1700 hours, Ricardo Harding, age 15, ran away from home on the 400 block of Hillcrest Ave. He was last seen at the McDonalds on W. Trenton Ave. wearing a black Champion shirt and grey shorts. He is about 5 feet 1 inches 100 pounds with short black hair. He has light brown skin and brown eyes. He has no cell phone or any other form of communication with him.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Ricardo, please contact d.chrzanowski@morrisvillepolice.org  or call 215-295-8111.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Morrisville Borough

Morrisville Police Reports: Deep Fryer Oil Stolen, Woman Jailed in Bensalem for Retail Theft, Now Charged for Same in M’Ville

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Morrisville Borough Police Reports June 4 to June 10, 2024

Retail Theft – 06/04/24 @ 14:45 – Report of food stolen from the Giant Grocery Store.  Value: $225.03

Warrant/Arrest – 06/05/24 – A Warrant has been issued for a 48 year old female for a Retail Theft that occurred at the Giant Grocery Store on 05/23/24.  On 06/07/24, the female was taken into custody by Bensalem Police for a retail theft in their jurisdiction.  She was sent to Bucks County Prison.

Arrest/Retail Theft – 06/05/24 – A 50 year old female was cited for incidents that occurred at Giant Food Store on 06/01/24 and 06/02/24.

Retail Theft – 06/06/24 @ 15:15 – A 25 year old male will receive a summons for stealing four cases of Snapple that were stolen from the Giant Food Store.  Value:  $55.96

Theft from Motor Vehicle – 06/06/24 @ 16:54 – Report of a wallet stolen from a vehicle while the victim was returning a shopping cart at Giant Food Store.  Value:  $120.00

Theft – 06/07/24 @ 05:14 – Report of deep fryer oil stolen from fuel tanks at three restaurants in the Morrisville Shopping Center that occurred within the past two weeks.  Value: $600.00

Retail Theft – 06/07/24 @ 13:40 – Report three boxes of Red Bull stolen from the Giant Food Store.  Value:  $91.41

Theft from Motor Vehicle – 06/07/24 @ 14:20 – Report of jewelry and money stolen from an unlocked vehicle on the 200 block of Harrison Avenue.  Value:  $46.00

Arrest/Public Drunkenness – 06/09/24 @ 03:35 – A 54 year old male was cited for an incident that occurred on the 100 block of N. Washington Street.

Theft from Motor Vehicle – 06/10/24 @ 12:40 – Report of money and membership cards stolen from a vehicle on 06/08/24 on the 300 block of Osborne Avenue.  Value:  $5.00

Retail Theft – 06/10/24 @ 13:41 – Report of hygiene merchandise stolen from the Giant Food Store.  Value:  $1,994.16

Submitted:

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