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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Council handles police matters

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    HONESDALE - Borough council members addressed numerous police matters at a special meeting Tuesday night.
    They accepted the resignation of Sgt. Ronald Kominski, voted to give Chief Rick Southerton civil service protection and hired two part-time patrolmen.
    Council also voted to remove an officer from the department's part-time list.
    All the votes were unanimous, 6-0, with council members Scott Smith, Robert Jennings, James Brennan, Juanita Pisano, Harry DeVrieze and Daniel Barnes voting in favor. Councilman Bill Canfield was absent.
    Kominski submitted the resignation Tuesday and it will go into effect Oct. 3. He is still technically on the force and is using his sick days.
    The sergeant has been a police officer in the borough for 12 years and will be eligible to collect a pension when he turns 50.
    Kominski currently works as a dispatcher at the Wayne County Communications Center.
    Kominski was a victim in a criminal complaint he filed earlier this year accusing borough council members of violating the Sunshine Act.
    Council was convicted but has appealed and is awaiting a ruling.
    Kominski, who was not at the meeting, said Wednesday the case had nothing to do with his resignation. He said he put in his time as an officer and wanted to move on to something different.
    Kominski was once the officer in charge of the department and had applied to be police chief.
    Council instead hired a police commissioner, Southerton, who was recently appointed chief after receiving his Act 120 certification.
    Kominski said that, too, had nothing to do with his resignation.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I had no problems with Rick," the sergeant said.
    Council also voted to remove patrolman David Matthew Clark, 40, of Lake Ariel, from the department's part-time list.
    The former officer was recently taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence after he crashed into three parked cars in Carbondale, police said.
    If Clark is convicted it would be his second DUI.
    Council hired two new part-time patrolmen, Santos Rolon and Michael Church. They each will be paid $16.50 per hour.
    Council also passed a resolution giving Southerton civil service protection. His salary was set at $58,543.
    In addition, council voted to offer the chief medical, dental and vision insurance, as well as a non-uniform pension and false arrest protection.
    Southerton said he will not take the medical insurance since he already has it.
    Jennings, in an interview, said he expects Southerton will do an "outstanding job" in the position.
    The councilman noted Southerton's experience with the FBI and his handling of corruption cases in Luzerne County that ended in prison sentences for two judges and several other public officials.
    Other topics discussed at the meeting will be reported on in a following edition.

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