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Crooked Dickson City Police Department in Problems

A Scranton police officer is suing Dickson City, its Police Department and the officer who filed charges against him — former Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy — in federal court for damages he claims he incurred after borough police filed those charges in 2013. Gary McPhillips, a Scranton patrolman, claims in the suit that a patron of Denny’s restaurant in Dickson City assaulted him Nov. 18, 2013, prompting a response from Dickson City and Blakely police officers. Mr. McPhillips and others involved in the altercation indicated to the officers that they did not want to pursue the matter further, and charges weren’t initially filed against anyone involved, according to the lawsuit. In early December of that year, the lawsuit alleges that Mr. Duffy, who did not respond to the incident at Denny’s, contacted Scranton police to relay that he had been assigned by borough police to investigate the November incident, which triggered an internal investigation of Mr. McPhillips. Later that month, borough police filed summary charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct against Mr. McPhillips, which resulted in discipline from Scranton police that caused Mr. McPhillips to lose 25 days of work, four weeks of pay, the opportunity to work overtime and time credited toward his longevity and that he was forced to pay health care deductibles, according to the suit. Mr. McPhillips pleaded not guilty to the charges, and they were ultimately dismissed in February 2014, according to an online court docket. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Duffy knew that contacting Scranton police about the investigation would spark the internal investigation and that filing the charges was done deliberately to punish Mr. McPhillips and interfere with his employment. Mr. McPhillips’ attorney, James J. Conaboy, originally filed the lawsuit in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in November. Attorney Patrick Murphy, representing Dickson City, borough police and Mr. Duffy, requested the case be moved to federal court earlier this month, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion has been assigned the case. Mr. McPhillips is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for lost wages, lost earning capacity, embarrassment and humiliation
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