Old Forge Borough Council members heard some outrage from the public Tuesday night, at the first regular council meeting since a sex abuse scandal erupted in the borough.
“Council, I come to you tonight to address the corruption problem the borough has,” said Robert Hughes of Old Forge. “You’re supposed to run the police department, you’re supposed to know everything that’s going on with the police, correct?” he asked Mayor Michele Avvisato.
Old Forge Police Captain James “Jamie” Krenitsky, a former Old Forge firefighter Walter Chiavacci and Police Chief Larry Semenza have all been arrested and charged with having inappropriate contact with a teenaged girl.
According to investigators, Semenza carried on a sort of romantic and sexual relationship with the girl starting when she was 15 years old.
“I have an oath that the policemen take. My sister is going to to give you three copies, give them to every policeman that come in or are in,” offered one woman who spoke before council Tuesday night.
Council members suspended Semenza and Krenitsky without pay at the packed meeting.
Borough officials said they are doing all they can to restore Old Forge’s image.
“We’re here to answer questions, what we know, so, you know, people are upset, we’re upset. The reaction really wasn’t bad at all,” said Mayor Michele Avvisato.
“We’re not ignoring the fact that there is an issue, we just want to move forward. As you can see, we do have business that needs to be conducted and that’s what we want to concentrate on,” said Council President Brian Rinaldi.
While Chief Semenza is suspended, Kim Buggey has been named officer in charge of the Old Forge Police Department.