Tensions flare as Lower Twp. M.U.A. waits on county investigatio - NBC40.net

Tensions flare as Lower Twp. M.U.A. waits on county investigation

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LOWER TWP. -

One by one, township residents, officials and employees stepped up to the microphone to make their voice heard before township council.

"My husband is being retaliated against. Harassed on a daily basis. Has sought out medical treatment & psychological counseling for issues that Matt has imposed on him. I'd want to let you know it isn't an employee problem –it's a family problem," said the wife of MUA employee Jesse Metzinger.

 "I guess I wanna find out has anybody reached out to Matt Ecker and asked him to resign?" asked township resident Charles Dougherty.

Ecker was given two months paid leave from the office and a company car to conduct his business on the go.

Now suspended MUA employees are asking why Ecker, suspended after employee accusations of assault and harassment, is being paid while they aren't.

"Since you're waiting for the investigation. You're giving him 60 days. Pay Mr. Dunn while the investigation is going on. Pay Mr. Dunn his money," said Villas resident Tom Quinn.

The crowd grew more restless during each address, with tensions peaking after a poorly timed joke from Township Solicitor Charles Sandman.

"Let me ask you if you hit the mayor man behind closed doors on audio tape would you be given 60 days paid leave?" asked Rick Ryan of Lower Twp.

"Depends on if he deserved it," quipped before a roaring crowd compelled him to apologize before reassuring the crowd that the matter is under investigation and eeverythingpossible is being done to make matters right.

"You wouldn't wanna live in a community where someone could accuse you of something and then just exact punishment without getting to the bottom of it," said Sandman. "To have it linger on is not only costly, but it's wearing on the individuals involved. No one wants this thing to drag on."

While township officials say everything possible is being done to expedite this investigation, no determination will be made until all information has been released.

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