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Fired Larksville police officer sues borough and 3 officials

Federal suit alleges Scott E. Kocher terminated after filing complaint against mayor.

SCRANTON – A former Larksville police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the borough and several officials, alleging he was fired after he filed a report that accused Mayor Joseph Zawadski of accosting him at a local bazaar.

Scott E. Kocher, no address listed, filed suit Thursday in federal court in Scranton against the borough, Zawadski, Police Chief Tony Kopko and Councilman John Pekarovsky.

The suit, filed by attorney Cynthia Pollick of Pittston, alleges Kocher was “publicly humiliated” by Zawadski, who confronted Kocher at a local bazaar on Aug. 13, 2010.

According to the suit:

Kocher filed an incident report regarding the confrontation. Soon afterward he was contacted by Pekarovsky, who yelled at him regarding the situation.

In September 2010, Kopko accused Kocher of committing the crime of “falsification,” the suit says, and terminated him. The suit does not specify what Kocher was alleged to have falsified.

Kocher claims the allegation against him is false and was made as part of a plan to retaliate against him for filing the complaint against Zawadski. The false allegations cost him his job and the opportunity to be hired as a full-time officer in another municipality.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for alleged violations of Kocher’s right to free speech, due process and several other claims.

Zawadski did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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