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Outcry in Old Forge Over Arrests

Posted on: 8:22 pm, May 3, 2012, by and , updated on: 11:18pm, May 3, 2012

After a special meeting behind closed doors Thursday night, Old Forge Borough council members and the mayor came out into the public meeting room.

Then, the borough mayor read a statement.

“We are as shocked as the community and are cooperating with the authorities in their investigation. At this time, Captain Krinitsky is suspended without pay until council meets at their regular meeting and takes action. Chief Semenza is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of their investigation,” said Mayor Michele Avvisato.

The reaction from folks looking for answers was angry.

“It’s a waste of time with these people. I think it’s a shame that council wouldn’t answer any questions though. We’ll vote them all out,” said one woman walking ou of the meeting.

Mayor Avvisato said the council has “stabilized” the police department.

Kim Buggey has been named officer in charge in the borough while Chief Lawrence Semenza is on leave and under investigation.

Newswatch 16 found him at his home in Old Forge. He refused to comment on the situation.

“We have more questions than we have answers and I don’t think we’re going to get any time soon,” said Eileen Stefanko of Old Forge, who attended the borough meeting Thursday night.

“Why did it take so long to come to shed to light? I believe the good Lord up above is working his way. You can be dirty only for so long because it’s gonna catch up to you,” said Robert Hughes of the borough.

At the Old Forge Fire Department officers also held a closed-door meeting to discuss Semenza’s future with them since they said Semenza is the department’s treasurer.

Members would not talk on camera but said they are relieving Semenza of his duties as treasurer while the investigation is on-going.

As for the arrest of their former firefighter Walter Chiavacci,  they said they are shocked.

They added Chiavacci left the department almost a year ago.

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