It’s back to 1 police chief in DuBoistown

DuBoistown Borough is back to a single police chief following the resignation Thursday of Michael Caschera III.

Caschera’s resignation was unanimously accepted by borough council during its regular monthly meeting Thursday night.

His brief resignation letter, read by borough solicitor Benjamin Landon following an approximately 25-minute closed door session of council, noted that Caschera had decided to go in another direction. His letter also thanked the borough for the opportunity he was given.

Caschera, who had worked as a part-time borough police officer, had begun work as chief Jan. 1.

With his hiring, the borough had two police chiefs.

Louis Staccone, who has served as chief for the past 10 years, has been limited to administrative duties due to medical issues.

He is to remain as chief until council goes about the task of finding a replacement.

A small crowd, which included nearly 20 citizens, turned out for the meeting, including some who questioned council’s handling of the matter.

“We felt this was the best way to go,” said Councilman Norman Cowden in defending the hiring.

He conceded that Caschera, who is the son of council president Michael Caschera Jr., was the only person interviewed for the position.

Cowden said he and Councilman James Barger, both of whom served on the personnel committee to consider candidates for the job, wanted to bring on board an officer from the borough police force.

Borough resident John McCormick, a former council member, questioned the Caschera hiring as well.

“I would have voted no,” he said.

He noted that he missed what would have been his last meeting as a councilman in December when the vote was taken to hire Caschera. He said he knew nothing about Caschera being considered for the job at that time.

McCormick told council that with the Caschera hiring, it did an injustice to both Caschera and the borough.

“It’s terrible what you put this kid through,” he said.

Caschera Jr. said at one point that he had no intention of his son becoming police chief.

Caschera had abstained from the council vote to hire him.

Staccone said the borough can now move forward.

“I think it was a mistake they made, and now they can give a chance for other officers (to apply for the job) if they are interested,” he said.

In other matters, council re-elected Caschera as president as part of its annual reorganization.

Charles Frey, a newly elected council member, is the new vice president.

Paul McKinley was reappointed borough fire chief.

The law firm of McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall was approved as the borough’s solicitor for another year and Brinjac Engineering as its engineering firm for 2014.

However, it was agreed that, in the future, they would consider other law and engineering firms to work for the borough.

Without being specific, Mayor Lou Plankenhorn said he felt it was prudent to seek alternative legal counsel as a means of helping the borough save money.

Council also agreed to pursue the hiring of a part-time highway maintenance worker.