911 center workers lose jobs after sharing New Year’s toast

The Associated Press
Midnight fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge during New Year's eve celebrations in Sydney, Tuesday, Jan.1, 2019. (Lukas Coch/AAP Images via AP)

ALLENTOWN – Three 911 supervisors were fired and seven operators resigned after sharing an alcohol-spiked drink while working on New Year’s Eve, officials said.

The employees violated longstanding county policy when they drank eggnog spiked with alcohol to ring in the new year, Lehigh County General Services Director Rick Mochany said.

The Lehigh County Communication Center is budgeted for 53 operators and 10 supervisors, Molchany told The (Allentown) Morning Call.

“Losing these 10 people affects our morale,” he said. “We’re working diligently to hire and train new people and coordinate with our county’s police and fire chiefs” to minimize the impact until the new hires start their jobs.

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Lehigh County Commissioner Dan Hartzell said the toast sounded innocuous to him, but he understood and respected the decision made by the administration.

“It was a clear violation of county policy,” Hartzell said. “It was determined we cannot let this become a slippery slope.”

The 911 center handles emergency calls for Allentown and surrounding municipalities.