“With the unanimous support of City Council, nominee Joel F. Fitzgerald Sr. was confirmed as Allentown's next police chief Wednesday, making him the first minority to hold the post.
After a brief introduction from Mayor Ed Pawlowski, council voted 6-0 in favor of the new chief with President Julio Guridy voting via phone. Vice President Ray O'Connell was absent from the meeting due to an illness.
Fitzgerald, 42, has spent the last four years as police chief in a Houston suburb, and he is a 17-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. Pawlowski nominated him earlier this month after a nearly yearlong search.”
Allentown confirms first minority police chief
Joel F. Fitzgerald Sr., Mayor Pawlowski's nominee, is unanimous choice of City Council.
By Emily Opilo, Of The Morning Call
9:18 p.m. EST, November 20, 2013
“Under Matthews' leadership, about a third of the 34-member department has left. Matthews has attributed the exodus to longtime frustrations; Carroll has linked the trend to Matthews' performance.Matthews' hiring generated conflict even before he arrived in the former steel town of 11,600. A deputy director at the Police Foundation, a Washington nonprofit, Matthews was not the search committee's top choice.
The group had chosen Philadelphia Police Lt. Joel Fitzgerald, who described a troubling meeting with Coatesville City Manager Harry G. Walker III and Richard Legree, a city power-broker who had multiple run-ins with the law. Legree has since died.
Fitzgerald said he believed Walker derailed his candidacy after Fitzgerald showed no interest in hiring Legree for a position in the department. Walker said in a prepared statement that he took Legree to the meeting so that Fitzgerald would have "an honest appraisal of what the new chief would face in Coatesville in terms of both the crime and the political sentiments.”
By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITERPOSTED: March 10, 2009