In Colwyn: Emergency, The Sequel

Colwyn Mayor Daniel Rutland shouts during Thursday’s boisterous Borough Council meeting, at which the state of emergency he had declared was canceled.
Colwyn Mayor Daniel Rutland shouts during Thursday’s boisterous Borough Council meeting, at which the state of emergency he had declared was canceled.
Posted: May 15, 2012

Daniel Rutland, mayor of embattled Colwyn, declared another state of emergency in the .3-square-mile borough Saturday after his previous order was overturned by council two weeks ago.

Allegations of police misconduct became public this month after a juvenile who was handcuffed in a holding cell was allegedly shot with a Taser by a cop on April 24.

Those allegations led Rutland to take three officers under investigation by county detectives off the schedule indefinitely, including the acting chief, Deputy Chief Wendell Reed.

Rutland named Lt. Wesley Seitz — the officer who investigated the Taser incident and provided information on it to the mayor — the acting head of the department.

In response, borough council, led by council President Tonette Pray, who many sources say is aligned with Reed, voted to place Seitz on leave as well, even though he is not under investigation. That prompted Rutland to declare a state of emergency on May 2 so that he could place Seitz back on the schedule.

At a raucous borough council meeting the following night, council voted to put Seitz back on leave, rescind the mayor’s state of emergency and to reinstate Reed, even though he remains under investigation.

In his most recent order issued late Saturday, Rutland has once again reinstated Seitz as acting head of the department, noting that the department has four vacant positions, three of which are supervisory. His order also says that Seitz is guaranteed protection under the state Whistleblower’s Act.

He also called for aid from the state police and surrounding municipal police departments. n

Contact Stephanie Farr at 215-854-4225, farrs@phillynews.com or on Twitter at @FarFarrAway.

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