An attorney for an Allentown Police Officer claims his client was fired after taking a Popsicle and two baseballs from a baseball park.
Officer Robert Leuthardt was on night patrol with a partner in east Allentown earlier this year, according to Attorney John Waldron. Waldron told the Morning Call that during the patrol, Leuthardt took two used baseballs out of a golf cart as well as a Popsicle from a concession stand at Coca-Cola Park, the stadium for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, a minor league baseball team and Phillies affiliate.
Waldron did not tell the Morning Call when the incident occurred but claims Leuthardt was suspended for a month with pay for the incident. The Morning Call reports the officer was given the option to resign or be terminated and that Leuthardt refused to resign.
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On Wednesday night, the Allentown City Council unanimously voted to dismiss Leuthardt, according to the Morning Call. The Morning Call also reports that city documents state Leuthardt was guilty of “violating departmental rules and regulations, applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and violating his oath of office.” In spite of Waldron’s claims, neither the Council nor the Police Department stated the specific reason for Leuthardt’s firing.
While Waldron admitted his client made a mistake, he also told the Morning Call the termination was too extreme and the punishment did not fit the crime. He plans to fight it through arbitration.