Mayor: Unpaid leave for West York's suspended police chief

Liz Evans Scolforo

West York's police chief is no longer receiving pay as he remains on suspension.

Justin Seibel was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 3, his attorney has confirmed.

West York Police Chief Justin Seibel has been placed on administrative leave, a borough official confirmed on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.. 
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

But newly sworn-in Mayor Shawn Mauck modified Seibel's status Oct. 31.

"I reclassified his suspension as an unpaid suspension," Mauck said. "I informed council on Oct. 31, at the same time I informed Justin. I (also) notified council that they would have to take further action if they wished to extend that suspension."

The West York Borough Council did just that at its Monday-night meeting, the mayor said.

"Council did vote to extend that unpaid suspension for 30 days," Mauck said.

Mauck sworn in as West York's new mayor

Quick resolution? The mayor said he can't discuss the reasons behind Seibel's suspension because he is legally constrained from speaking about personnel issues.

But he predicted the matter won't drag out for very much longer.

"I'm actually hopeful it will resolve very quickly ... (perhaps in) a matter of weeks, certainly in less than a month," Mauck said.

He confirmed the borough continues to have a dialogue with Seibel's attorney, Ed Paskey.

"I'm aware of the conversion to unpaid leave," Paskey wrote in a text. "With such a long period of leave, it's not uncommon in my experience for this to happen. I expect more clarity on the situation in the next few days."

Councilman Shawn Mauck asks the council to vote after a motion is made and seconded for Mauck to be appointed mayor during the West York Borough Council meeting in West York on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.
(Dawn J. Sagert photo)

Mauck praised the work of Acting Police Chief Matt Millsaps.

"Matt's a phenomenal guy, and I can't speak highly enough of him. He's doing a great job," the mayor said. "I'm also proud of the police department itself. The officers are stepping up and understanding there's a better way to do policing. ... I'm happy with the progress we're making."

Quick resolution possible for West York's police chief

Mauck said he understands West York Police "have built a reputation" of being tough, adding that whether the reputation is deserved or undeserved, "perception is reality" for many people.

"We've got to change that perception," he said.

To that end, Mauck said he will focus on providing additional training for officers and on bringing community-based policing programs to the department.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.