Westmoreland County sheriff's chief deputy suspended

Westmoreland County sheriff's chief deputy suspended

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — There's more turmoil inside the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office as the sheriff's deputy has been suspended.

Chief Deputy Patricia Fritz is on paid suspension after an incident between her and another deputy turned into a county-led investigation.

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Fritz met behind closed doors with union President Lt. Steve Felder and another deputy to discuss a separate issue last week.

Felder said that meeting led to an allegation against Fritz.


"That's county policy, it has nothing to do with guilty or innocence. It's simply a procedure until the DA's office finishes the report," Westmoreland County Sheriff Jon Held said.

Park police and human resources officials tried to notify Fritz on Friday  she had to turn in her county-issued property.

"Friday evening her vehicle was recovered by public works and park police and moved back out to the road garage so as of today she is barred from county property," Park Police Chief Kirk Nolan said.

"I was going to inform her first thing Monday morning but the park police took it upon themselves to go on private property and take the county property off of it," Held said.

This comes as the second time Fritz has been involved in an investigation by the county.  A county-hired law firm said her claims of harassment by an assistant county solicitor were unsubstantiated.

Felder is also on paid suspension as the district attorney confirms to Channel 11 his office received the claim and will be looking into it.

Human resources confirmed to Channel 11 that they can only make a recommendation when it comes to personnel decisions. Under county code, the elected official has to decide what happens with their employees.

The sheriff says the chief and union president will remain on paid suspension until the DA wraps up his investigation.