Fairview Township's board of supervisors is staying silent on the recent termination of police chief Scott Hockenberry, despite outrage in the community.
The 18-year veteran was fired last month after a photo of him and a topless woman surfaced on Facebook. The picture was taken out of state while Hockenberry was on vacation, according to close friend Mike Treaster.
In a phone conversation Monday evening, Hockenberry told abc27 there was no mention of the photo in his termination letter. Instead, township supervisors told him he violated the police department's "mission statement" while making an arrest earlier this year. He did not elaborate further.
Dozens of supporters showed up to a regularly-scheduled public meeting Monday night to ask the board to reinstate Hockenberry's position, saying this was a "witch hunt" aimed at getting him out of the chief's spot.
"A slap on the wrist for other people isn't good enough (for Hockenberry) -- I don't understand," Treaster said. "I think this was the icing on the cake, and he doesn't deserve this."
Many township residents said they fear pending lawsuits over this termination will only hurt taxpayers.
"It was nice to see police officers from other communities come out and support him because what happened is just wrong," friend Kristi Corcovelos said. "Re-election time will speak volumes."
Following public comment, township solicitor David Jones told abc27 state sunshine law prevents the board from commenting on personnel issues, saying only that Hockenberry was an "at will" employee and thus subject to termination at any time.
Jones also confirmed the investigation into the alleged misconduct was done by outside counsel after the township received one anonymous complaint.
Hockenberry's attorney said they are considering all legal options at this point, and that "no action is off the table."
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