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BREAKING NEWS — Court agrees with Civil Service Commission: Reinstate Andrekovich

February 23, 2011

Brian Andrekovich

PUNXSUTAWNEY — In an opinion released Wednesday, Jefferson County President Judge John H. Foradora said that the court concurred with a report from the Punxsutawney Civil Service Commission, in which it said there was insufficient evidence to support the borough's reasoning behind firing Borough Police Officer Brian Andrekovich.

The commission, in its report from July 2010, ordered that Andrekovich be reinstated with the department after council fired him stemming from the Aug. 15, 2099, death of Stephen Obbish in the back of a borough police cruiser.

Aug. 9, 2010, Punxsutawney Borough Council voted 5-1 to appeal the commission's order.

In his opinion, Foradora wrote, "Without guidelines designed to funnel an officer's discretion, though, Council itself has little basis to conclude that an officer's decision amounts to a violation of policy or law. ... That was certainly the case here, because there were no policies telling Andrekovich what to do on Aug. 15, 2009. He had to decide, based on his training and experience, how to handle what he assessed as a typical public drunk."

See tomorrow's print edition of The Punxsutawney Spirit or www.punxsutawneyspirit.com for more.

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