Piece of officer’s puzzle may soon be solved



small piece of the puzzle that involves Allentown Patrolman Phil Schirmer and municipal officials may be put into place in June.

On June 22, Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) Exam-iner Arnold H. Zudick is scheduled to conduct a hearing on an unfair labor practice charge the commission has filed against the borough.

The action is related to Schirmer’s June 1999 suspension from the police force without pay on allegations of wrongdoing and official misconduct. He remains suspended and awaits a hearing in that matter.

As part of civil litigation Schirmer filed against the borough and several municipal officials in the wake of his suspension, he alleged that his suspension came in retaliation for the role he played in negotiating a contract for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 114.

The attorney representing FOP Lodge 114 is claiming that the borough’s action to suspend Schirmer followed the resolution of the contract dispute between the Allentown FOP and borough officials by a state arbitrator who found in favor of the police officers.

Meanwhile, Thomas Savage, the borough’s special counsel handling the matter, told the Examiner this week there is no validity to Schirmer’s charges.

Whether that comment is accurate remains to be seen, but one thing Savage said certainly rings true.

"These things take some time to play out," the attorney said.

That they do and Schirmer, along with residents, members of the Allen-town police department, borough officials and those who have followed this issue, will be waiting to see what be-comes not only of the PERC charge when that is heard in June, but whether the suspended officer will keep up the fight or just go away, as some people must surely be hoping he does.