LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser was allegedly forced to resign after his wife posted comments on Facebook praising President Trump, according to the Lancaster Fraternal Order of Police.
According to John Fiorill, previous president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, Mayor Danene Sorace told Chief Berkihiser to resign because his wife posted comments on facebook saying she planned to vote for President Trump because of his support for law enforcement.
“This was an unjust situation that he was placed in, a clear violation of his rights,” Fiorill said. “He was advised by the mayor that she wanted his resignation, based on those statements made on Facebook, not by Chief Berkihiser, but by Chief Berkihiser’s wife.”
Chief Berkihiser went straight to the FOP where he got advice from the solicitor.
“He retired under his conditions, not the conditions of the mayor, not a termination. That’s exactly what he wanted to avoid and he wanted to avoid that turmoil,” Fiorill said.
Fiorill believes the mayor, who is a Democrat, made the decision based on politics.
“Which in my opinion is totally unjust and unfair, not only to Jarrad Berkihiser, but it’s an insult to law enforcement officers because Jarred dedicated his life and his career to serving the citizens of Lancaster city,” Fiorill said.
He said he’s disappointed that the chief’s time with the department had to end that way.
“I know that it’s tearing him apart that he gave so much of himself, that he gave so much of his time for the city of Lancaster that separated him from his family,” Fiorill said. “For them to treat him like that, I don’t doubt that it’s a heartbreaking and very stressful time for him.”
The ABC27 team reached out to Mayor Sorace multiple times to ask for her side of the story, but she did not respond.
This is a developing story. ABC27 News will provide more information as it becomes available.