Thursday, January 12, 2023

Girardville Council Fires "Officer-In-Charge" and Reappoints New One

During Wednesday evening's Girardville Borough Council meeting, the council fired their "Officer-in-Charge" and reappointed a new one.

Like many communities in our area, Girardville has been struggling when hiring police officers as well as keeping them on the payroll.

In March of 2022, Girardville hired Fabrizio Bivona, who would later be appointed to "Officer-in-Charge" of the borough.

On December 11th, 2022, Bivona was suspended as an officer of the borough for an unspecified reason.  According to Borough Solicitor Arlen Day, the reason for suspension could not be released due to an ongoing investigation, which includes the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

According to Solicitor Day, after the initial suspension there was a second suspension that was filed December 30th, 2022, to which Bivona was notified.

The second suspension was reported by Solicitor Day to be due to:

  • Bivona filed citations as an officer of the borough against two other borough officers after he was suspended.
  • Falsely identifying himself as the "Chief of Police of Girardville"
  • Making False and Misleading statements to the public regarding the Mayor, Borough Council, and Two Police Officers
  • Making False Statements to a fellow officer that Council was going to terminate him.
  • Working hours, he wasn't instructed to work.
  • Failing to punch the time clock.

Bivona was giving the opportunity to attend a meeting on January 3rd, 2022, to respond to the Mayor and Police committee, but he did not attend.  He also did not attend Wednesday's meeting.

The Mayor Judith Mehlbaum and Solicitor Day also said Bivona had until January 3rd, 2022, to return his badge, keys, and any other borough property.  As of Wednesday, they had not received anything from Bivona.  

On Wednesday evening, Council held the line item to discuss the course of action it would take against Bivona until the very end of the meeting, where the Mayor, Solicitor, and Council went into a quick 2-minute executive session for "personnel reasons".

When returning, a motion was made to terminate Bivona, with all council agreeing unanimously.

Bivona provided written comments on the allegations towards him to the Republican Herald, which can be read through the link below.

The borough said Wednesday that Lt. Jeremy Talanca has been appointed to Officer in Charge of the Borough.