Ross Township officer suing police association, township for defamation

Sgt. Joseph Serowik is suing the Ross Township Police Association and Ross Township accusing them of defamation. He said they destroyed his reputation and he filed a lawsuit to clear his name.

“It’s basically made my life a living hell,” said Sergeant Joseph Serowik.

He’s been with the department since 2004 and was promoted to Sgt. in 2018.

For years, Serowik said he’s felt targeted and harassed by some of his fellow officers.

But his attorney said things escalated in January, when the Ross Township executive board shared a letter claiming it was inappropriate and potentially criminal that while discussing a case during roll call Sgt. Serowik allegedly showed other officers an explicit video of a teenage boy.

“Taking what was otherwise an investigation into a sexting incident at North Hills High School and turning it into distribution of child porn, as you can imagine for a police officer who’s a liaison with the North Hills School District, allegations of porn and being a bad influence with juveniles Is absolutely devastating to his career and we had to say enough is enough,” said Serowik’s attorney, Bill Labovitz.

The township and the attorney general’s office cleared Sgt. Serowik of any wrongdoing and said there was no criminal conduct.

However, Serowik said the damage was already done to his reputation.

“By the Ross Township Police Association releasing my name to the media instead of letting of the investigation run its course, that’s the damage. That’s one of the reasons I’m suing the association,” said Serowik.

This incident led in part to a no confidence vote in the police chief who officers felt minimized the situation.

The township’s solicitor, Philip Murray told the our Trib partners that he could not comment on the pending litigation. Channel 11 also reached out to the attorney representing the ross township police union but Channel 11 still waiting to hear back.

The lawsuit was filed last week. The police union and township have 20 days to respond. If the case doesn’t settle, it could go to trial.

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