Days after one of his officers was charged with participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, the chief of the North Cornwall Township police has been suspended.
Township officials said Monday that Chief John Leahy “has been temporarily placed on administrative leave with pay” during an internal investigation into the events that led to Friday’s arrest of Officer Joseph Fischer by federal authorities.
“The board wishes to express its confidence in the members of its police pepartment who continue to provide public safety services to the township’s residents, regardless of recent events,” the supervisors said in announcing Leahy’s leave. “The board further wishes to express its gratitude to its residents as it works to ensure that all appropriate questions are asked and measures undertaken to protect the continuing professionalism of the police department.”
The supervisors said their investigation is focusing on “the events surrounding Officer Fischer’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021 and afterwards.”
Sergeant Harry Ward has been appointed as interim officer in charge of the force, they said.
Fischer, who faces his first federal court hearing on Tuesday, was suspended without pay due to his arrest on charges of obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, unlawful entry and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Investigators claim Fischer bragged on Facebook about participating in the riot. They said he also posted a video showing pushing police officers who were trying to control the mob.