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Macungie Mayor Wins Commonwealth Court Appeal

A Lehigh County Court decision challenged by District Attorney James Martin is overturned by the state court.

Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman emerged victorious Thursday when a Commonwealth Court ruled in his favor over a dispute with Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin.

Martin appealed part of a Lehigh County decision regarding Hoffman's control of the Macungie Police Department in Oct. 2011.

The Commonwealth Court upheld Lehigh County Judge Michele A. Varricchio's Sept. 2011 decision that Hoffman is Macungie's chief law enforcement officer, as well as other points of the case.

But the state court reversed Varricchio's "finding that the borough council had authority to award back pay for police Chief Edward Harry Jr. and throw out a 10-day suspension Hoffman imposed for insubordination," according to a story in the Morning Call.

The story also said the Commonwealth Court sent the case back to Lehigh County Court for determination on whether Hoffman is entitled to attorney's fees because Macungie Council members "engaged in vexatious conduct."

Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson mentioned in his majority opinion that the borough and the people of Macungie might do well to consider the "emotional and monetary" cost of further "testy litigation."

Doris Horner January 03, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Hope this puts an end to this issue. The Mayor is right, and he is not running for a second term - so the only issue left is whether he is entitled to his legal fees. I feel it would be in the best interest of everyone if they paid the Mayor's legal fee instead of racking up more legal fees to defend the position that they don't owe them. Enough is enough - let it drop now.
Dave January 03, 2013 at 09:38 PM
The "mayor" is a butt-head. So you contend that he's right to sue the very town he was "elected" to serve? He didn't have to take any of this to court, but he is such a cry-baby, he wanted his moment(s) in the spot-light. It seems that for the decades I have lived in Macungie, there was never any issue regarding the operation of the police department. Then "mayor" major disaster, gets elected by his family and freinds (not by the mayority of the town) and goes on a personal vendetta against the police. If you really can't see that he was driven by personal motive, in my humble opinion, then you are blind. And who said he's not running for a second term? Him? You really believe anything that comes out of that moron's mouth? He has displayed a track record of saying one thing and doing another. Also, who's going to cover his legal fees? If you're so anxious to pay him, then inform council to raise only your taxes to cover the cost, don't raise mine.
Guy Ramsey January 06, 2013 at 01:24 PM
There are not enough people running for the open offices in Macungie Borough. Democracy is not effective without substantial participation. Without appropriate choice of candidates, and adequate participation from voters, democracy is ineffective and conflicted. Get involved. If you are qualified and interested, run for office. If not, at least learn about the candidates and be an informed voter.

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