YORK — York’s longtime hearth chief, whose abrupt firing final month stirred controversy via this metropolis of 8,400, will obtain his full retirement advantages even after officers found lewd materials on his authorities cellphone alongside proof he deliberate to delete different public data.
York Metropolis Supervisor Seth Duncan, who final month cited “a sample of dishonesty” in firing Fireplace Chief Domenic Manera, mentioned this week he retroactively modified the chief’s official method of departure to a “retirement.”
The transfer, which got here with on the behest of York Metropolis Council, affords Manera the proper to obtain a $62,000 severance package deal and to remain within the metropolis’s well being, dental and life insurance policy. Sometimes, fired workers don’t get these perks.
“No matter what transpired within the final two and a half months of service, that ought to not wipe away his profession right here on the metropolis,” Duncan instructed The Publish and Courier. “For essentially the most half, individuals are shifting ahead.”
York Mayor Mike Fuesser agreed.
“Thirty-plus years of service to town shouldn’t be utterly tarnished,” he mentioned. “In due time, I imagine he must be given the correct recognition. This group is therapeutic and can transfer ahead as we do within the hardest of conditions.”
Manera, York’s hearth chief since 1994, didn’t reply to requests for remark April 14.
The deal is one thing of an olive department after Manera’s supporters complained to Metropolis Council final month that Manera had been wrongfully fired. They blamed Duncan and referred to as on council to fireplace town supervisor and reinstate the hearth chief.
However proof obtained by The Publish and Courier via an open-records request seems to assist Duncan’s reasoning for firing Manera.
In his March 9 termination letter to Manera, Duncan accused the chief of utilizing metropolis gear — together with a city-issued cellphone — inappropriately.
Shortly thereafter, The Publish and Courier requested knowledge saved on Manera’s city-issued telephone.
Town turned over a trove of images and movies from his telephone, together with a selfmade picture of male genitals, that clarify the chief used the system for greater than hearth division enterprise.
The pictures additionally included screenshots supporting metropolis officers’ suspicion that Manera was carrying on a private relationship on metropolis time and gear.
The screenshots depicted messages between Manera and his spouse, and between Manera and a feminine S.C. Division of Transportation engineer with whom he swapped 1000’s of textual content and picture messages between December 2020 and February 2021.
That engineer, Allison Couick Love, beforehand instructed The Publish and Courier her conversations with Manera have been strictly skilled.
However screenshots of certainly one of their conversations — saved in Manera’s telephone — seem to contradict her.
On Feb. 27, after metropolis officers first questioned Manera about his telephone utilization, pictures present the chief emailed Love: “Allison, I’m so sorry, however now we have to finish issues instantly.”
“They confiscated my telephone,” Manera continued. “… They have been attempting to determine who I’ve been speaking and texting to. They’ve pulled my telephone data for some motive. I didn’t inform them your title, all they know is that it began out as a enterprise name and ended up as private calls and textual content.”
Manera requested Like to delete all their prior messages and his contact info. Love replied to ensure Manera knew easy methods to delete his copies of the messages as nicely, screenshots present.
The messages seem to have been deleted by final month, when The Publish and Courier submitted Freedom of Data Act requests to each town of York and the state Transportation Division for copies of any correspondence between Manera and Love.
Each requests got here up empty.
Love, no relation to the York County Council member who shares her first and final title, didn’t reply to a request for remark April 14.