Lawsuit Pits Police Officers Against Chief, Mayor

WILKES-BARRE -- Two Wilkes-Barre police union leaders filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Sergeant Phil Myers and Dan Duffy say they were unfairly punished after failing to support Tony George's bid for mayor and making complaints about Police Chief Marcella Lendacky.

"It's pretty messed up because they're here to protect us,” said Destiny Lebron of Wilkes-Barre about the lawsuit.

"It's stupid. It's really stupid,” said Alicia Dante of Wilkes-Barre about the situation.

According to the lawsuit, Myers and Duffy say that as a lieutenant, Lendacky was "…altering police reports and/or reclassifying reports in order to reflect lesser crimes."

"It sounds really hazy and it doesn't sound too, sounds like bad news, sounds like there are some people who are maybe not being so honest about some things,” said Matthew Hinton, who lived in the city for years.

The lawsuit alleges Mayor Tony George and Chief Lendacky fired Duffy in October as retaliation and suspended Myers.

A city spokeswoman says city leaders will not comment on pending litigation.

This is just the latest in an ongoing controversy in Wilkes-Barre City Hall and Police Headquarters.

In October, city council members voted to investigate the police department.

"It’s an unhealthy situation. It's dysfunctional, obviously,” said council member and former police chief Bill Barrett.

The attorney for Myers and Duffy says he expects this lawsuit to go before a jury in about a year.

He says his clients want to be reinstated to their jobs with back pay and possibly more money for "pain and suffering."

"There needs to be open communication between both of those parties and the people who protect us, and the people who represent us need to be able to agree on some things, not moving numbers around,” said Hinton.

Duffy, who was once police chief in Scranton, is now working part-time as an officer in Larksville.

The full lawsuit can be read here.

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13 comments

  • Highwaymen

    It has been noticed time and time again that township and borough governments are made up of people who are more interested in generating revenue or punishing individuals that they (or their friends) have an agenda against rather than serving the community. Seems that somebody had a conscience and was punished for it? I could be wrong, but there is an ever growing pattern of not going after the real criminals because of the lack of monetary gains in the form of fines (i.e. revenue). While a person with a job and a household is more likely to just pay to end the aggravation. Willie Sutton summed it up best when asked why he robbed banks, “Because that’s where the money is”

  • Under Scrutiny

    Well, whomever Serpico is in this instance, “supporting” any political candidate should be a moot point – Law Enforcement should be 100% separated from the political cesspools, but it’s obvious that position, power, and authority often override common sense and ethics. Let the chips fall where they will on this one. In the meantime, WB is nearly doubling the rates of their parking meters, shootings are reported on a daily basis, and I won’t even stop there for gas if I needed to.

  • Dave Matichwa

    Mayor George needs to go back to basic police training. According to the citizens voice he made the comment that an vacant house cannot be burglarized. For example if you enter a vacant house and steal copper pipes it is only a theft. You are wrong Uncle Tony that my friend is a prime example of a burglary.

  • burtfan16

    This seems like another chapter of Duffy’s downward spiral as a police officer. Chief of Police for the City of Scranton down to a part time patrolman in Larksville? What’s next, meter maid somewhere in the Skook?