MCRPD to sue Lewistown Borough

YEAGERTOWN – The Mifflin County Regional Police Department Board of Directors decided to take civil action against the Lewistown Borough Council over pension money the police board claims it is owed.

At its monthly meeting on Thursday night, the board voted unanimously and instructed its attorney, Bob Mix, to file a civil complaint against the borough.

Board President John E. McCullough said the board had hoped to avoid the legal action, but now feels it has no other choice.

“We had hoped we would be able to work this out in some kind of settlement. Several weeks ago the Lewistown Borough announced in the paper they were going to make a verbal offer to the MCRPD followed by a written agreement. At no time was a written or verbal offer transported to the MCRPD,” he said.

When asked about the amount of money owed, McCullough declined to give a specific figure, saying only that “It is a substantial amount.”

McCullough said the dispute goes back to what the board says are unpaid pensions owed to the department by Lewistown Borough after the borough decided to discontinue receiving services from MCRPD.

“In the course of all that, there were a number of financial obligations, all of which have been settled except the police pensions,” McCullough said.

After the meeting Thursday night, The Sentinel called Lewistown Borough Council President Russ Rager for his reaction. Rager declined to comment, saying “I don’t think it would be appropriate.”

When asked for comment on Rager’s response, McCullough said, “That’s a sad reality.” He went on to say the board feels it has an obligation to file against the borough.

“This is an obligation that is owed to the Mifflin County Regional Police Department pension fund. We don’t think it’s negotiable, because money is owed,” he said.