West Reading's fired Police Chief Edward C. Fabriziani will return to the force as a patrolman in a deal being ironed out by borough officials, borough sources said.
Fabriziani, who was fired in November, is listed on the patrol schedule starting in April to cover other officers' vacations, according to borough sources.
Borough council is expected to vote on the matter either at its regular March meeting or at a special meeting.
Fabriziani could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
His attorney, Kevin A. Moore, would only say that negotiations are ongoing.
According to sources, however, the terms of the deal would see Fabriziani return to the force for two years before retiring in January 2015 when he reaches 25 years of service.
The move would allow the longtime chief to claim his full pension and would save West Reading the legal costs it would likely incur fighting his termination appeal, borough sources said
In a similar action, a deal is in the works for council to rescind the firing of Sgt. Richard Vetter and allow him to resign or retire and receive a partial pension, borough officials and other sources confirmed.
Vetter could not be reached. His attorney, James E. Gavin, declined to comment on the case.
The proposal involving Fabriziani was spelled out in a Jan. 15 letter from Moore to West Reading Solicitor Daniel C. Becker and obtained by the Reading Eagle.
In the letter, confirmed by borough officials, Moore writes that Fabriziani would voluntarily resign as chief and accept a patrolman position on several conditions, including no loss of seniority and clearing his personnel file of all charges.
Fabriziani would waive his claim to back pay if the borough compensated him for economic damages and attorney fees using the difference between his salary as a patrolman and what he would have earned as a chief over two years.
Borough council fired Fabriziani, Vetter and Officer Ronald E. Ladd on Nov. 14. The actions followed months of mounting tensions that came to a head with a physical altercation between Fabriziani and Ladd in Fabriziani's office on Aug. 31.
Vetter's termination came as a surprise to many as he had never been publicly identified with turmoil in the department.
Ladd is appealing his firing, and the West Reading Civil Service Commission heard testimony on Feb. 12 before continuing the hearing to March 25.
At Ladd's request, the hearing is open to the public.
The March 25 session will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the West Reading Fire Department.
Since the firings, Sgt. Keith Phillips has served as acting officer in charge of the police department.
Copyright 2013 - Reading Eagle, Pa.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service