Bazetta trustee calls actions ‘slanderous’

Staff report


Trustee Don Urchek, whose fellow trustees approved a resolution Tuesday night condemning Urchek for hugging and kissing a police department secretary on two occasions, lashed back at his colleagues, saying their actions are “malicious, slanderous and libelous.”

In a press release, Trustees Paul Hovis and Frank Parke also suggested that Urchek resign.

“I wish to issue a categorical denial that I initiated any conduct in violation of the sexual-harassment policy,” Urchek said before Hovis and Parke approved the resolution.

Urchek called the resolution a “slanderous attempt to stifle all opposition to business as usual in Bazetta Township.”

Urchek and Parke took office in January. Hovis has been a trustee for 21/2 years.

According to township documents, Bazetta Police Chief Thomas L. Miller conducted an investigation of the May 2010 and December 2009 incidents at the request of Hovis and reported that Urchek had “hugged and kissed [the woman] without her approval” but that Urchek had apologized and she had accepted his apology.

Atty. Mark Finamore, the township’s legal adviser, said he advised trustees Hovis and Parke that he recommended that they approve the resolution “for legal reasons.”