Clarion Borough Council dismisses police officer

Clarion Borough Council terminated the employment of borough police officer Brittany S. Gray after a 30-minute closed executive session Tuesday.

The session included all council members (Zac Garbarino was absent), Police Chief William H. Peck IV, Chief Administrator Linda Lavan Preston, and legal counsel John Marshall.

Gray’s termination is effective Sunday. Her employment was still under probationary status. Gray was not at the council meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Council President Carol Lapinto, Peck, and Marshall all declined to comment on the action. Council members did not comment on the issue before voting to terminate Gray’s employment.

Gray was hired as a full-time police officer on July 6, 2021. Prior to that, she worked as a police officer in Punxsutawney.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law in 2020 that created a database to track police misconduct statewide and force agencies to check the database before hiring an officer. The state Legislature closed the database to the public.

It creates a statewide database of separation records, including criminal charges filed against an officer, ethical or civil complaints, and binding and final disciplinary actions. Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies are required to search the database when hiring a new officer.

In a related move, the council approved a motion by Ben Aaron to authorize the borough’s civil service commission to develop an eligibility list of potential candidates for the vacant full-time police officer position.

Other business

  • Council approved a change order for the multi-site storm sewer project, adding additional inlets, piping, and drainage swale work items to the Whitehill Place project site for a total cost of $14,940.
  • Council approved a change order for the North First Avenue storm sewer repair project to add eight loads of material hauled out, five loads of fill rock hauled in, and exchange of one joint of plastic pipe for one joint of concrete pipe for the total additional cost of $1,890.
  • Council approved The EADS Group for the design of the fire department metal siding project (west side of the building) for a lump sum cost of $13,000.
  • Council approved a $1,500 contract with BrownBark Tree Service, of Knox, for the removal and clean-up of five dead trees at Paul A. Weaver Community Park.
  • Council thanked Limestone Township for a $250 donation for the maintenance and upkeep of Paul A. Weaver Community Park.
  • The council accepted an offer from Union Council of Governments for pool equipment and other items no longer needed for a lump sum payment of $1,700.