Joseph Scharf

From LEO Ratings

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Service Record

Agency State College Pennsylvania Police Department
Rank Officer
Dates of Service Hired in 2015. Fired December 3, 2020. Reinstated November 5, 2021.[1]
Last Known Status Active

Incident Reports

2017 Unprofessional Conduct

Scharf displayed "unprofessional conduct" towards a physician at a local medical center.[1]

Department Response

In May 2017, the complaint and any corrective actions were documented in Scharf's departmental file.[1]

2018 Improper Searches

Scharf conducted a traffic stop, but then performed an improper search of three men without probable cause or consent. Scharf submitted an incomplete report regarding the incident.[1]

Department Response

In 2018, the complaint and any corrective actions were documented in Scharf's departmental file.[1]

2018 Unsafe Driving

Scharf drove the wrong way on a one-way street, without using his lights or siren.[1]

Department Response

Scharf was issued a written warning.[1]

2020 Unprofessional Conduct

According to the borough attorney, Scharf "left a DUI suspect unattended while engaging in a profanity laden argument with the suspect’s husband, thus creating a safety risk".[1]

Department Response

In February 2020, Scharf received a write-up in his file.[1]

2020 Vehicle Pursuit

On June 14, 2020, Scharf pursued a suspect at speeds up to 87 mph in a 25 mph zone.[1]

Department Response

An internal affairs investigation determined that Scharf had violated two department policies during the incident. The police chief identified three additional policy violations.[1]

2020 Vehicle Pursuit

On June 23, 2020, Scharf pursued a vehicle for a short time before discontinuing the chase. Scharf did not file a report on the incident.[1]

Department Response

An internal affairs investigation determined that Scharf had violated five department policies during the incident. The police chief identified two additional policy violations.[1]

2020 Use of Excessive Force

On July 12, 2020, Scharf was on bicycle patrol when he attempted to pull over a car that did not have its headlights on. Scharf pulled alongside the moving vehicle, and used pepper spray through the driver's window.[1]

The incident was recorded on a body-worn camera.[1]

Department Response

An internal affairs investigation determined the use of pepper spray was unjustified and in violation of department policies.[1]

After reviewing the three recent incidents, an internal affairs board recommended that Scharf be suspended for five days without pay.[1]

On October 27, 2020, the Borough Manager held a hearing with Scharf and a union representative.[1]

On December 3, 2020, Scharf was fired over allegations of improper conduct during the three recent incidents.[1]

Legal Action

Scharf appealed the termination, citing a lack of just cause. The union disputed whether the police chief could add policy violations beyond those found by the internal affairs board in the earlier cases.[1]

On November 5, 2021, an arbitrator found that the additional violations "ran counter to regulations" and that the "termination was not supported by just cause". The arbitrator ordered that Scharf be reinstated with back pay and benefits.[1]

On December 3, 2021, the borough petitioned the court to overturn the arbitrator's ruling for having exceeded their jurisdiction and powers.[1]

References