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Thread: Dickson City, PA follies - articles from the recent past on this little town

  1. #1
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    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post Dickson City chief: I knew suit was coming Sentenced for stealing pills, ex-Dickson cop apologizes Dickson City settles ex-cop’s suit for $50,000


    Ex-Dickson City official settles suit for $25,000
    News-Item, The (Shamokin, PA)-February 1, 2007

    Both William Bott and longtime councilman Anthony Gallis filed a federal lawsuit naming Dickson City Borough, Chief William A. Stadnitski and Patrolman Thom-as Logan.

    A former Dickson City councilman settled his case involving the borough's police chief for $25,000, according to lawyers.

    The suit claimed both the chief and the patrolman harassed them over their opposition to plans for a golf course in the borough and for voting to cut the chief's pay.

    Mr. Gallis, whose council term ends Dec. 31, settled his case for $80,000 in late November.

    A recent decision by U.S. District Judge James M. Munley whittled Mr. Bott's claims from eight to one - that Chief Stadnitski pulled him over in retaliation for voting for the pay cut - left little to work with, said attorney Peter Winebrake, who represents Mr. Bott.

    Mr. Bott said he wanted to take the case to trial but, on the advice of Mr. Winebrake, decided to settle.

    Dickson City council President Barbara Mecca said she'd heard the case was settled, but stressed that settlement should not be mistaken for a win for Mr. Bott or Mr. Gallis.

    "The insurance company has to gauge the cost of going to trial," Ms. Mecca said. "It's purely a business decision."

    Still ongoing is a similar federal suit filed by former Dickson City police officer Harold Nudelman. He claims Chief Stadnitski and other officers harassed him after he filed a wrongful termination suit.

    A mediation session held Jan. 18 in Mr. Nudelman's case failed to reach a settlement, according to court records.


    Judge Let jury decide lawsuit against DC cops
    Times-Tribune, The (Scranton, PA)-October 5, 2006

    A federal judge ruled Tuesday that whether Dickson City police used their power to intimidate and punish political enemies, as is being claimed by two borough councilmen, should be decided by a jury.

    In February, Police Chief William Stadnitski and Officer Thomas Logan Jr. asked U.S. District Judge James M. Munley to dismiss several claims contained in a lawsuit filed in June 2005 by Anthony Gallis and William Bott.

    Both councilmen claim they were subjected to false arrests and police harassment after they found themselves in Borough Council's majority voting bloc as a result of the 2003 municipal elections.

    Mr. Bott is no longer on council and Mr. Gallis is not part of council's current majority bloc.

    The 2003 elections were especially heated because of a controversy over a public golf course in the borough. Mr. Gallis and Mr. Bott claim Chief Stadnitski and Officer Logan were longtime supporters of the previous council majority, and both were somewhat involved with plans regarding the golf course.

    Soon after the 2003 election, Officer Logan filed assault and harassment charges against Mr. Gallis, but a magisterial district judge dismissed them. In the federal suit, Mr. Gallis claims his First Amendment rights were violated because the charges were filed to retaliate against him for his opinions and conduct as an elected official.

    Around the same time, Mr. Bott was given $290 in traffic citations by Chief Stadnitski for failing to use his turn signal and not wearing a seat belt. Those citations were eventually withdrawn.

    Mr. Bott claims he was pulled over and cited because he voted for a police contract that cut Chief Stadnitski's pay a day before.

    Lawyers for the officers and the borough said in court filings that the councilmen must prove there was no probable cause to charge Mr. Gallis and pull over Mr. Bott. But in an opinion filed Tuesday, Judge Munley ruled that the question of probable cause is something a jury must decide.

    "The jury may well believe that (Chief) Stadnitski did observe (Mr.) Bott fail to use his turn signal when turning," the judge wrote. "On the other hand, the jury could decide not to credit (Chief) Stadnitski's testimony as to whether he had probable cause for the stop based on the antagonistic history between the two men."

    He wrote much the same thing in regard to Mr. Gallis' criminal charges.

    Judge Munley dismissed a claim that police also retaliated against the two councilmen by speaking with the media about Mr. Gallis' criminal charges and Mr. Bott's traffic citations.

    Philadelphia lawyer Peter Winebrake, who represents Mr. Gallis and Mr. Bott, said he's pleased with Judge Munley's decision. He said they are prepared to "present our evidence to a jury."

    No trial date has been set.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA

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    From the first linked article: "Until August, lawsuits required a $2,500 deductible from the borough. Excessive claims led insurance carrier Penn Prime to drop the borough’s coverage. Brown & Brown, the borough’s new insurer, requires a $25,000 deductible. "
    That the borough had trouble maintaining insurance due to excessive claims (apparently from an excessive number of lost lawsuits) tells volumes.

    The more I read about Dickson, the more I have visions of Valkenvania in the movie "Nothing But Trouble". Maybe Reeve Valkenheiser was based on Stadnitski, or maybe even more scary, Stadnitski has based his tenure as chief on Reeve Valkenheiser was based on Stadnitski, or maybe even more scary, Stadnitski has based his tenure as chief on Reeve Valkenheiser. :shock:

    Sounds like a bunch of petty tyrants run amok and doing whatever they want and then closing ranks when caught. The multiple law suits are clear evidence that the town has serious issues at all levels of local government and LE.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  3. #3
    State Researcher
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    May 2007
    Just a "wannabe" in Mtn. Top, Pennsylvania, USA

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    Be prepared for a LOT more interesting articles once the other side of the Dickson City Incident is finally released in the media. So far, it has been a one sided show.

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