Attorney John R. Wilson Presented “The Mayor, the Chief, and the Law: Best Practices for Avoiding Civil Lawsuits”at the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association on Tuesday, November 22nd. His partners for this presentation included Attorney Jim Nowalk and Mayor Ron Harris.
“The Mayor, the Chief, and the Law: Best Practices for Avoiding Civil Lawsuits”
The webinar provided information to borough and city mayors regarding the respective roles of the two in the context of a municipal policing. Specifically, the mayor’s role as the elected and accountable “head of the police department” and the police chief’s role as the boots-on-the-ground law enforcement professional with years of police experience. John’s portion of the webinar summarized the legal landscape of municipal liability for police misconduct, and provided actionable best practices to avoid and/or limit exposure to said liability.
Co-Presenters Attorney Jim Nowalk and Mayor Ron Harris
Jim Nowalk, the Mayor of Whitehall Borough in Allegheny County, has been an elected official for 39 years – 10 years on Council and over 29 years as Mayor. A lawyer for 44 years including seven as an Assistant County Solicitor, Jim has authored over 100 advisory opinions for Pennsylvania Mayors during his 15 years as the PSMA’s President. For 25 years, Jim has been chiefly responsible for the educational programs at the PSMA’s annual conferences. As PSMA President, Jim has been a leader in the Radar Coalition, an organization of municipal and law enforcement associations seeking to allow municipal police to use radar for the enforcement of motor vehicle speed limits. Together with Mayor Harris, Jim revised the Borough Mayors Manual for the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services. Jim was PSMA’s Mayor of the Year in 1999.
Ron Harris serves as Pennsylvania State Mayor Association’s Vice President of the South Central Region and is the editor of the PSMA Quarterly Newsletter. At previous PSMA conferences, Harris was the primary speaker for this topic, but elected to serve a more behind-the-scenes role this year. Ron is the Mayor of Carroll Valley, PA and is currently serving his third 4-year term. He is also Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, a member of the Planning Commission, and Chairman of the Finance Committee for Carroll Valley. Additionally, Ron also serves as Chairman of the Fairfield Regional Emergency Management Agency (FREMA) and President of the Adams County Boroughs Association.
Watch the full presentation of “The Mayor, the Chief, and the Law: Best Practices for Avoiding Civil Lawsuits” here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ubewd0ypfdcgwvi/PSMA%20Webinar.mov?dl=0
View the presentation slides for “The Mayor, the Chief, and the Law: Best Practices for Avoiding Civil Lawsuits” here: PSMA Webinar – Mayor Chief Law – 11-22-22
Tim Hindes of TrailBlaze Creative edited the recording of the webinar for publishing.
John R. Wilson
John R. Wilson joined the CGA Law Firm in August of 2021. While his legal interests are varied, John provides legal services to Litigation, Bankruptcy, Government, and Education Law clients. Prior to joining CGA Law Firm, John served as an Advisor for the Mason Veterans and Service Members Legal Clinic, where he represented clients in military proceedings, veterans’ appeals, and civil matters.
Read John’s Bio Page in full here.