Lehigh County Judge Michele Varricchio ruled on Sept. 15 that Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman is, indeed, in charge of the Macungie Police, as is specified in Pennsylvania's Borough Code.
As a result, Hoffman is entitled to have a key to the police department offices, according to a Morning Call report.
Varricchio said the code "straightforwardly establishes the mayor as the final authority as to the chief of police and the police force," the report said.
The issue of who is in charge of the Macungie Police Department has been disputed since the mayor took office in January 2010 and has cost the borough thousands of dollars to defend itself. It has also divided the community as allegations were hurled from both directions, and culminated in Hoffman suspending Police Chief Edward Harry in March 2010.
Varricchio said Macungie Borough Council was correct in reinstating Harry and overturning the mayor's suspension order.
Varricchio also said her ruling was based "solely on applicable law," and that "Charachter, ego, intention, allegations or management style are not factors in this court's decision," the report said.