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May 7, 2014

Cresson asks court to enforce deal with chief

EBENSBURG — A hearing will be held next week to consider a petition filed on behalf of Cresson Borough Council regarding its former police chief.

Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry will consider the borough’s petition to enforce a settlement agreement reached earlier this year with Jeffrey Kopsic.

The hearing is set for May 16 for what is being called a police Tenure Act hearing.

Kiniry also has signed an order allowing the borough to file an exhibit – the settlement agreement – under seal, to be opened only as directed by

the court.

Kopsic has refused to sign the agreement approved by borough officials in March in exchange for Kopsic’s resignation.

Kopsic is a 12-year member of the Cresson force. He has served as chief since 2006.

Kopsic was suspended in December, although the reason for the action was not made public.

As a part of the deal, Kopsic was to be granted $2,500 for unpaid benefits, vacation time and sick days.

Also, council agreed to pay his health care premiums for six months.

When Kopsic did not sign the agreement, Johnstown attorney Michael Parrish, serving as special counsel for the borough, made repeated attempts to contact Kopsic’s attorney, Thomas Dickey of Altoona.

In mid-April, the petition was filed seeking court intervention to enforce the settlement agreement.

At that time, Dickey said his client had some concerns, but would not elaborate.

Borough Solicitor C.J. Webb said at the time that the seal on the agreement is needed only until the settlement is finalized and enforced.

Kopsic does not face any formal charges as a result of his suspension and resignation and the action was not based on complaints toward Kopsic from outside sources, officials said in March.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County Courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.

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