State Police Asked To Investigate Neighbor’s Beef With Eric Stewart
MATAMORAS — Eastern Pike Regional Police (EPRP) Commission will seek the Pennsylvania State Police to investigate allegations brought up by a resident involving Assistant Chief Eric Stewart.
At Monday night’s police commission meeting, solicitor Tom Mincer said that there was a complaint by a resident announced at a Westfall Township meeting against Stewart and he is seeking the commission’s support in asking the township to preserve the tape for evidence as well as assigning the State Police to investigate the matter further.
“If proven correct it could be a crime,” said Mincer.
Normal protocol for filing a complaint against a police officer is for the person to come to the station and fill out an affidavit that is signed and notarized. The chief of police, Chad Stewart, is usually assigned to investigate the matter.
The issue for the department is transparency since there would be a conflict of interest as the chief and assistant chief are brothers. Mincer said that since the complaint came during a public hearing, the integrity of the commission and police department are at question and recommended they seek the state police to investigate the matter.
He said the state police have investigative tools such as the ability to take sworn statements and use lie detector tests to determine guilt or innocence.
Mincer said that if the allegations were proven false, the officer would have the recourse to file a civil action against the person who made the allegations.
Mincer also said that someone from the board should have stepped in and stopped the public discussion but since it is out in the public, it needs to be addressed.
This relates to allegations by a Mill Rift resident who said he was threatened with a citation by Eric Stewart after he contacted EPRP to investigate two incidents where Eric Stewart, his neighbor, was target practicing too close to his house and he was concerned for his family’s safety.
He said the police came out and investigated the incidents but nothing was ever done.
“I was driving my golf cart up the road on Saturday and he stopped me while driving his black pickup truck and told me that I was petty and if I continued to be petty, he would give me a citation for driving my golf cart on the road,” said the resident who preferred to remain anonymous... for complete story, get this week's issue.