E. Manchester Twp. supervisors mum on Gentzler's future following charges

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The East Manchester Township supervisors have debated the fate of township manager Dave Gentzler, but officials wouldn't say Tuesday if the manager would be fired or placed on leave following his arrest Sunday.

Gene David Gentzler, of Springfield Township, is accused of using zip ties to restrain his ex-girlfriend while holding her captive and threatening to shoot her during an hours-long ordeal that allegedly began Saturday and ended Sunday morning.

The supervisors have met in executive session and discussed how to handle the Gentzler situation, Supervisor Dave Naylor said. Naylor declined to share further details.

Calls Tuesday to supervisors Steven H. Gross Jr. and Barry Rudisill went unreturned. 

The Board of Supervisors is allowed to discuss Gentzler's employment in a closed meeting because it's a personnel matter, but any vote or official action must take place in a public meeting, under the state's Sunshine Act.

The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for May 12.

Gene David Gentzler, who goes by Dave Gentzler, is township manager in East Manchester Twp.

State open meeting laws dictate that emergency meetings don't require public notice, but there are only a few situations that warrant an emergency meeting.

"The reasons for an emergency meeting under the Sunshine Act are very clearly limited to emergencies dealing with life and death," said Erik Arneson, director of the state Office of Open Records. "It’s not a situation involving the need to dismiss an employee."

If the supervisors wanted to meet before their next scheduled meeting, they could call a special meeting, Arneson said, which would require at least 24 hours' notice. 

Allegations: State police say Gentzler, 61, was at his ex-girlfriend's home in Red Lion on Saturday when she told him she no longer had feelings for him. Their break-up had begun in March, police said, and Gentzler was at her house to talk about it.

Gene David Gentzler, who goes by Dave Gentzler, is manager of East Manchester Twp.

Gentzler got angry and confronted the woman in her kitchen, where he pushed her against the wall, tied her hands with zip ties and threatened her with a handgun to force her upstairs to the bedroom, charging documents state.

He then allegedly tied her ankles to the bedposts, put a rope around her neck and taped her mouth shut before pointing the gun at her stomach and telling her he planned to kill her and then kill himself, police said.

At one point, police said, Gentzler brought in a hammer from another room and told the woman he was going to knock out her teeth.

Police said the woman was able to talk to Gentzler and he eventually untied her from the bedposts. When she thought he was asleep, she escaped and called 911, police said.

Gentzler is charged with the felonies of burglary and aggravated assault, the misdemeanors of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and simple assault, and summary harassment.

He remains in York County Prison on $50,000 bail.

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