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@hedtb36:Kevin McCarthy retires from New Garden

@by:By Wm. Shawn Weigel

@bod:After dealing with a suspension imposed by the township manager over unconfirmed allegations of misconduct, Lt. Kevin McCarthy of the New Garden Police Department has officially retired.

His attorney and brother Justin McCarthy could not answer to any specific charges against his client, nor could he offer any specific reason for the sudden announcement, although the decision does come on the heels of allegations that someone in New Garden may have committed a grievous error.

Kevin McCarthy has been serving the suspension over an undisclosed matter. New Garden Township Solicitor George Brutcher confirmed that the suspension was for 30 working days; it could not be confirmed whether the suspension was with or without pay.

Recently, a request had been entered for a change of venue, making the hearing private at Kevin McCarthy's request, according to Justin McCarthy, who spoke on Kevin's behalf.

"There has been a serious violation of the law in New Garden Township," Justin McCarthy said. "There has to have been, if private records have been made public."

Justin McCarthy said that, in all his years as a public servant, his brother has had no involvement with any unseemly behavior.

"Lieutenant McCarthy is a 26-year veteran of the force with an impeccable record," Justin McCarthy said. "I think the public should be able to connect the dots here and see the big picture."

The retirement is -- in the words of his attorney -- the result of "cumulative abuse" by the township.

Kennett Square Chief of Police Albert McCarthy, brother to both Justin and Kevin, agrees that this is just the most recent incident in the ongoing persecution of his brother at the hands of the New Garden supervisors.

"In my opinion, this is a continuous path of harassment that Kevin has been subjected to ever since the board of supervisors changed [and] some people in New Garden will be publicly embarrassed over this," Albert McCarthy said.

Attorney Neil Morris, who represents New Garden over police employment matters, denies that anyone on the board has leaked information regarding this case.

"Those statements are silly," Morris said. There is no one on the board who has leaked anything to the best of my knowledge ... what happened in the department is no big secret, and we cannot control every single employee."

Morris also commented on the sudden request to change from a public to a private venue.

"Up until yesterday [Wed., Feb. 1], Kevin McCarthy was repeatedly asking for a public airing of these matters," Morris said. "Why the sudden change?"

Morris said that the supervisors had not yet moved on whether or not to change the hearing's setting but that ultimately it was their decision.

"That decision has not been granted by the board of supervisors, but it is under consideration," Morris said.

New Garden board of supervisors chairman Steve Allaband had no comment on the matter.

According to Brutcher, Kevin McCarthy still has the right to the hearing, although as of Monday morning, Brutcher was still in the process of corresponding with Justin McCarthy regarding the appeal.

"I'm not sure how [his retirement] affects the hearing. He would still, in my judgment, have a right to the hearing regarding the suspension," Brutcher said. "And there is still the possibility that it can be a private hearing."

At Monday night's meeting of the New Garden Board of Supervisors, Brutcher announced Kevin McCarthy's decision to the board and to the public, and then recommended that the board either officially accept or deny the retirement, which Brutcher said, "can basically be viewed as a resignation."

Brutcher then explained that despite the resignation, Kevin McCarthy is still eligible for the appeal.

"If the suspension was without pay, and the decision is overturned [on appeal], then he would be eligible for the pay from that period," Brutcher said.

The board unanimously accepted the resignation.

Brutcher said he had still been unable to contact Justin McCarthy as of Monday evening to discuss the status of the appeal hearing.

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