Police chief accuses Mayor-Elect of firing him if he doesn't 'pledge his loyalty'
SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WOLF-TV) —
There is a growing controversy in Sunbury involving current Police Chief Tim Miller and the city's Mayor-Elect Kurt Karlovich.
Chief Miller is accusing Karlovich of threatening his job if he doesn't pledge his loyalty.
During Monday night's city council meeting, Chief Tim Miller called Karlovich's actions corrupt.
But Karlovich denies he ever did anything wrong.
"I was asked to violate the cannons of police ethics by being told that to keep my job I would have to pledge absolute loyalty to Mayor-Elect Karlovich," Miller said.
Chief Miller says Karlovich is trying to influence him, threatening his job if he doesn't agree to go along with his agenda when he takes office in January.
"The mere fact that I was to pledge loyalty to the Mayor-Elect and engage in politics by making public accusations against city government to further one man's agenda is disgusting and intolerable," Miller added.
Karlovich calls Miller's comments unfounded accusations, adding this all stems from questions he asked to council members about how the city handles its finances.
"Then I started pulling out the flaws that in our own police department about personnel issues, issues with the police department and issues about how they are handling evidence in the police department," Karlovich said.
"Now all the sudden the police Chief is accusing me of threatening him or something and threatening his job," he continued.
Karlovich won November's election by a little less than 100 votes.
He'll take over for David Persing, who's been the city's mayor for the past 24 years.
About 100 people came out to Monday's meeting.
Some expressed their support for Chief Miller.
"I feel that Tim Miller is a man of integrity and I never heard anything but honesty from him," one person said.
While others showed up to make similar comments about Mayor-Elect Karlovich's character.
"I can honestly I've never heard anything even remotely false come out of his mouth. I don't know where these allegations came from," said another.
City council says the city's labor and employment law firm will conduct an investigation into Miller's allegations against Karlovich.
Council will then take appropriate action's based on that report.
The Northumberland County Board of Elections says at this point in time Karlovich will in fact be the next mayor of Sunbury.
They add only the District Attorney or Attorney General has the authority to look into removing a mayor from office.