Mayor-Chief Dispute Escalates Macungie Turmoil
Mayor calls on District Attorney, Attorney General to remove Police Chief.
The Oct. 17 meeting of Macungie Borough Council began with a three-way exchange among Council President Guy Ramsey, Mayor Rick Hoffman and Police Chief Ed Harry.
At the start, Ramsey read a statement announcing the mayor's launching of a "quo warranto" action to review the process under which Harry was hired.
The quo warranto action is explained in this Morning Call report, which says it's basically a letter to Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and to the Pennsylvania Attorney General claiming that Harry's hiring was in violation of the state's Borough Code.
Additionally, Harry did not work his way up through the ranks of the Macungie Police Department, the report said.
Ramsey's statement provided a timeline of the legal actions that have been volleyed among the mayor, council and the police chief since Hoffman took office in January 2010.
Hoffman went on to accuse Harry of wiretapping during a meeting between Harry and the district attorney.
According to Hoffman, at some point when Harry met with Martin in Martin’s office, a call came in from Hoffman, and Hoffman was not informed there was someone in the room at the time.
The accusation inflamed Harry.
“I was doing fine, until I was accused of committing a crime,” Harry said, defending himself from the podium.
“Had I heard your end of the conversation, that would have been a violation of the Electronic Wiretap Act, Chapter 57 of the Crimes Code. I am telling you in no uncertain terms, I have no idea what you were saying. I was in the office when the district attorney took the call. He did not put it on speaker phone. He talked to you and I did not hear it," Harry said.
“I don’t expect to have to say that again. Please don’t accuse me of committing a crime," Harry said to Hoffman.
Hoffman said after the meeting that nothing has been filed in the Lehigh County courts to remove Harry.