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Lackawanna police chief dumped by Poloncarz for county appointment

As noted in Thursday's story, County Executive Mark Poloncarz abruptly dropped Lackawanna Police Chief James Michel Jr. as his pick for commissioner of Central Police Services after legislators discovered that Michel had been disciplined in 1999 for a sexual harassment incident when he was a lieutenant. Michel repeatedly subjected a subordinate dispatcher to "foul, obscene and dirty language."

Here's the 1999 write up from then Chief Dennis J. O'Hara about the incident: Michel--discipline

And here's the response from Poloncarz to the County Legislature this morning after he learned about it: withdrawal of james michel for appointment letter

Chief Michel has enjoyed a long tenure as a veteran member of the Lackawanna Police Department and received praise and support for many for his leadership of the department. However, he has also been the center of controversy in a few instances, including a hit-and-run incident that resulted in a lawsuit, and a dispute with the city over pay.

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