Mahoning Township Police Chief Placed Back on Leave

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MAHONING TOWNSHIP -- A police chief in Montour County who found himself on the wrong side of the law is back off the job again.

The Mahoning Township police chief is accused of "huffing" from a can of compressed air while on duty last spring. Huffing is used as a means of getting high.

With a vote of 2-1, the Mahoning Township Supervisors put Chief Chad Thomas on unpaid administrative leave, causing the room here to explode with applause.

This vote came at a reorganization meeting Monday night as new township supervisor Bill Lynn took over for former supervisor Christine DeLong.

“I’d like to make a motion to reverse the actions of the previous board taken on December 31, 2015 and place Chad Thomas on unpaid administrative leave effective immediately,” said Lynn.

Thomas was placed on paid leave in early December after being charged with huffing while on duty at the police station.

Then last week, supervisors Christine DeLong and Wayne Myers reinstated Thomas, with a vote of 2-1.

Residents say the new majority supervisors corrected a major wrong.

“I think that the action taken by the police chief was one that displayed a tremendous amount of poor judgment and that's what this comes down to,” said T.S. Scott.

“He is chief of police and he should be held to a higher standard. Many people that would have that happen to them would be suspended and fired,” said Lynn.

Investigators say the huffing incident happened in May and was witnessed by others at the police station.

Some people say they've wanted Thomas off the job for some time.

“About having the police chief suspended, yes, that's what we were fighting for, have been for a while,” said Molly Shultz.

Thomas was not at the meeting.

The township supervisors say he will be on leave pending the outcome of the criminal case against him.