NEW CASTLE —
Chico’s partner will keep his job.
New Castle policeman James Hoyland will remain temporarily suspended, reimburse the city for a police dog and relinquish his K-9 unit membership.
New Castle City Council Wednesday night determined the fate of the patrolman, whose K-9 partner died June 4 after being left in a car for nearly four hours.
Chico, a 6-year-old brindle Dutch Shepherd, was found unresponsive in the back of a police cruiser and rushed to a veterinarian, but died soon after. An autopsy indicated he had died of heat stroke.
The vote was 3-2, with Bill Panella, Richard Beshero and council president MaryAnne Gavrile in favor. Karen DeCarlo and Ed Yerage voted no.
At a private hearing Wednesday before attorney Phillip L. Clark, who served as administrative law judge, council heard testimony from one witness — New Castle Police Chief Thomas Sansone.
At Hoyland’s request, the hearing was closed to the public.
“This was for council alone,” Gavrile said. “Even the mayor was not included in the hearing.”
Prior to the hearing, Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo was present, as were about two dozen police officers, including some from Union and Shenango townships.
Thursday morning, Mastrangelo said he had no comment.
The city was represented by solicitor Michael Bonner. Hoyland, represented by Eric Stoltenberg of Pittsburgh, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 21, was not present.
Gavrile said Hoyland did not attend the hearing on the advice of his attorney.
“He said if he did, he could be giving up his right to arbitrate.”
Council deliberated for about 45 minutes before reaching its decision.
“He will be suspended without pay for a total of 60 days,” Gavrile said. She noted Hoyland has been suspended since about June 6, and is now in his 32nd day. He also must make restitution for the dog prior to his reinstatement and will no longer be part of the K-9 unit.
Gavrile noted the same legal firm represented former New Castle officer James J. Paglia. On March 14, council voted unanimously to remove Paglia from the force. Paglia has appealed that ruling.
“We felt that is appropriate discipline,” Gavrile said of council’s decision Wednesday. She added it was difficult.
“The hardest thing was we were given no evidence for the defense,” she said.
Gavrile added council was able to question Sansone, and had many questions for Clark during their deliberations.
Thursday morning, Sansone said the decision was up to council “and I must live with what they decided.”
He declined to give his opinion or to say what he would have liked to have seen.
“We’ll proceed and wait until we can schedule his return.”
He added Hoyland, “is holding up pretty well, considering everything.”
The chief said he is checking on prices of dogs to determine what restitution the officer will be expected to make.
“I don’t know if we’re replacing Chico or pricing a generic police dog and I don’t know if we can count on anything from insurance.”
Police dogs cost about $10,000, he said, and the training could take the price as high as $15,000.
NEW CASTLE —
Chico’s partner will keep his job.
- TOP STORIES
Councilman thinks house purchase an ‘illegal act by the mayor’
New Castle Councilman William Panella believes the mayor committed an act of malfeasance in buying a property without council’s approval. “I think it’s an illegal act by the mayor,” Panella said at Tuesday’s work session regarding the purchase of a property at 315 E. Hillcrest Ave.
County’s borrowing will merge debts
The Lawrence County commissioners are consolidating the county’s debts for more efficient and cost-effective operations.
Photos, Video, Story: Shenango homecoming queen Brittany Chieze considers herself ‘a pretty lucky girl’
Rochelle Chieze admits she panicked at first when she learned her daughter had been placed on Shenango High’s Homecoming ballot. “I started thinking about the germs from being around so many people and how tired this would make her,” Rochelle said. “Even though she was thrilled — we all were — I went back and forth. I thought maybe we should say no.”
Shenango considering sewer sale
Shenango Township is trying to decide whether to sell its sewer system. A recent public meeting on the matter drew only about 15 residents and the Shenango supervisors said they will schedule another meeting to get more input.
Pair assists woman in escape from smoky bedroom
A woman was rescued Friday evening after reporting smoke in her mobile home. Cindy Zarlingo of 275 Dominick Lane, Mahoning Township, called 911 at 8:54 p.m. stating there was smoke in her bedroom and she was unable to get out.
Public library gets new director
The job description for library director doesn’t call for pig wrestling. But Sandra Collins did just that when a library she worked at in Utah participated in a county fair contest.
New director no stranger to shelter’s work
A murder underscored for Debbie Hennon how important her new job is. Hennon’s first week as executive director of the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County was marked by the death of Mariah Jai Anderson, who was gunned down Nov. 17 by her former boyfriend.
‘Miracle’ birth blesses Thanksgiving holiday
The number gathered around the Thanksgiving table at the Lamb household is slightly bigger than last year. Smiles are brighter and thankful prayers are in abundance for the little bundle of joy in a rocking baby seat at the family’s North Beaver Township homestead.
Mothers, doctor describe embryo implant process
The birth of Anna Marks was an involved scientific process. But more than a year later, her parents and her aunt — who carried her — are overjoyed at their little blessing.
Double stabbing on South Side
New Castle police were responding to a double stabbing on the South Side Wednesday afternoon. Few details were available, but the stabbings occurred at a home in the 500 block of East Long Avenue.
- More TOP STORIES Headlines
- Councilman thinks house purchase an ‘illegal act by the mayor’