Crowd expected at borough meeting

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Members of the Hollidaysburg community are expected to turn out in large numbers for the Borough Council’s meeting Tuesday evening.

Cathy Griffith, co-founder of the Griffith Family Foundation, said many are likely to attend in support of longtime Hollidaysburg Police Chief Jeffrey Ketner, who was placed on leave July 10 by council.

“I stand behind him 100 percent, and the community is in support of him,” Griffith said, “and we plan to get involved by going to the meeting on Tuesday, to show our support.”

“The support will be overwhelming for him,” she added.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at the borough building, 401 Blair St., and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting room has seating for about 30 people.

Hollidaysburg Borough Manager Mark Schroyer said that borough officials have discussed potentially moving the meeting to another location, but as of Friday no decision had been made on that. The meeting is still being advertised in the council chambers, he said.

The borough’s official meeting notice does not say exactly what will be on the agenda, only that “matters related to personnel in the Hollidaysburg Borough Police Department” will be discussed.

It could not be confirmed if Ketner will be in attendance.

Ketner was placed on leave by council, borough labor attorney David Andrews said, and he continues to earn full pay and benefits. The reason why Ketner was put on leave has not been made public, nor has it been revealed how long his leave will last.

The decision to place Ketner on leave was made during an executive session on Thursday, July 10, after the regular monthly Borough Council meeting.

Ketner is represented by Altoona attorney Michael Wagner, who said Wednesday that parties are “discussing” the next steps in the case but declined to comment on specifics. Wagner told the Mirror earlier this week that he is confident Ketner will be back on the force.

In Ketner’s absence, Assistant Chief David Gehret is overseeing the police department.

Griffith said she’s known Ketner for most of her life, and that he’s an upstanding person.

Details on the situation have been scarce, and multiple requests for comment from borough officials and council members have gone without response.

Ketner has also been vacationing over the past week and has not commented.

Griffith said that the lack of information has been confusing for a lot of borough residents.

“I would say it set the tone of confusion to a lot of people,” she said.

However, she said she believes that both sides of this issue can work together for a “peaceful resolution.”

“I know that God will make this situation, for everyone involved, good,” Griffith said.