Mayor: Unpaid leave for West York's suspended police chief
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.
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.
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."
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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.