Honesdale Zoning Officer Facing More Trouble

HONESDALE, Pa. -- A borough official in Wayne County who's had run-ins with the law before is off the job again.

Dan Hnatko's desk is empty inside Borough Hall in Honesdale. Borough leaders have suspended him with pay following two separate incidents.

One is a protection from abuse order. A woman accused Hnatko of taking down his pants at her apartment back in March. Hnatko says he never did it.

"I have the proof to back it up. I just missed the court hearing because the night before I was working late in a side job and woke up and fell back asleep," Hnatko said.

Hnatko spoke with Newswatch 16 about his suspension, saying the accusations in the PFA are false. He's also waiting to find out if he'll be charged with driving under the influence after being pulled over in the borough last month.

"That, I think, is totally bogus. I got pulled over for not using a turn signal. I did have a beer like an hour and a half earlier. I even went to Paulie's and had hot dogs."

Hnatko has been doing zoning in the borough of Honesdale for several years, and now that's he's off the job--suspended with pay--the borough may have to foot the bill for an outside company to come in to do the job for him.

Hnatko was charged with DUI before in August 2015 while on the job. In that case, he went into a court-ordered program after being accused of having drugs he didn't have a prescription for. This time, he says, it's a similar situation.

"I had six Klonopin on me because I've been working so much, stressed out with the borough and stuff going on. I haven't been sleeping, so my friend said, 'Have one of these.' Yes, that was wrong. I haven't been sleeping hardly at all," Hnatko said.

Hnatko makes a base salary of $42,000 a year working as the zoning officer in Honesdale. Borough officials would not comment beyond the suspension.

1 Comment

  • Fredric Underhill

    At $42K annually, I hope they realize it will take an Act of legislation to extract this employee from his job. My guess is he becomes “retired” with a $100K severance check and benefits.

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