Suspended Westmoreland sheriff’s captain off county payroll
Westmoreland County has stopped paying a suspended sheriff’s department captain who has been off the job since early August after he was charged with summary harassment for an alleged incident in State College during a training program.
Controller Jeff Balzer confirmed Friday that Capt. Travis Day, 24, of Jeannette was no longer being paid although he is still a county employee.
“On Aug. 27 he went from paid to unpaid status,” Balzer said.
Also on Aug. 27, Day was found guilty in absentia when he failed to appear before Hempfield District Judge Anthony Bompiani for a hearing on a charge of failing to obey traffic-control devices after a 2 a.m. incident Feb. 10 at the state police barracks.
Police alleged that Day drove into a restricted area of the state police property on Westmoreland Avenue posted “Do Not Enter.”
In August, he was suspended from his job as the third-ranking member of the sheriff’s department after officials learned of harassment allegations filed against him while he was attending a required 19-week training course in State College. Day was dismissed from the program following the alleged incident and was placed on paid suspension by Sheriff Jonathan Held.
Held said Friday he would not comment on Day’s job status and referred all questions to the county’s human resources department. Human Resource Director Amanda Bernard said she is not permitted to discuss Day’s work and pay status. County solicitor Melissa Guiddy said Day’s status was a “personnel matter” and not the subject of public disclosure.
Day was hired in January at an annual salary of $39,126.
While Day’s pay has been halted, Patricia Fritz, Held’s chief deputy in the sheriff’s office, continues to receive her $42,000 annual salary even as she is barred from all county property, including the courthouse. Held said she continues to work from home on administrative duty for the sheriff’s office.
Fritz, 63, of Mt. Pleasant was suspended with pay in early August after she was charged with a summary harassment offense in connection with a physical altercation with a union president.
Held reinstated Fritz two weeks later, on Aug. 27, but county commissioners banned her from the courthouse, saying an investigation had begun to determine if she violated the county’s workplace violence ordinance.
Fritz has denied any wrongdoing and filed a private complaint against the alleged accuser, claiming he assaulted her during the altercation. No charges have been filed in connection with her complaint.
Rich Cholodofsky is a
Tribune-Review staff writer.
You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]