Police Chief Suspended for Smoking

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

Somerset Township Police Chief Clarence Perry will be back on the job Saturday following a two week suspension without pay.

He escaped termination Thursday after the Board voted four to one to keep him. His pay, about $1,400, will not be reinstated. The Board claims he violated the township's no smoking policy. Smoking is prohibited in township owned vehicles.

The father of a 15-year-old boy, picked up by Perry for driving a moped without a license, filed a written complaint last month claiming Perry smoked two cigarettes while his son was in the back of the patrol car.

Perry doesn't dispute the policy, but he says the board didn't follow proper punishment policy. Others who've violated the no smoking policy in the past have just been given verbal warnings.

One Somerset Township resident says she will file a motion at next month's meeting asking the board to give Perry his pay back.

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