Officer’s replacement on the way

JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Police Department is down one officer after Tuesday’s resignation of convicted rapist Adam Schwabrow, but not for long, the police chief said.

Schwabrow, a patrolman, resigned shortly after pleading guilty in Fulton County Court to a felony count of third-degree rape. Schwabrow is due to be sentenced May 13 to a year in jail, convicted of the statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl in May 2011.

Chief Mark Gifford said Wednesday his department is down to 23 officers with the resignation, but it may soon be back to full strength with 24 officers.

“We already have a replacement,” Gifford said. “I guess you could say he’s waiting in the wings.”

Gifford said the candidate to replace Schwabrow is from another police agency and doesn’t need any new training. Gifford declined to say which police agency the officer is from. He said the officer hasn’t notified that department yet.

Schwabrow was a K-9 handler and president of the Johnstown Police Benevolent Association.

“The department and the city needs to put [the case] behind us,” Gifford said.

Gifford personally arrested Schwabrow on Sept. 19.

Prosecutors and law-enforcement officials have said the sexual intercourse between Schwabrow and the underage teen took place in the city.

There was no allegation or evidence of forced sexual contact between the officer, who was not on duty, and the victim. The victim was an acquaintance of Schwabrow, authorities said.

Gifford said Schwabrow is owed some back pay, but will get no health insurance benefits or a pension.

When the arrest occurred, Schwabrow was suspended without pay, but in the months closer to the plea arrangement, he remained suspended with pay.

According to records from the office of city Treasurer Michael Gifford, Schwabrow was the 13th-highest paid city government employee in 2013, earning $73,224.

Michael Gifford said Wednesday he still has to compute how much back pay Schwabrow will be owed, some of it possibly factoring in longevity. He said he may have a final computation next week.

Schwabrow was earning $25.13 per hour at the time of his resignation, Gifford said.

Schwabrow also had served as director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Office, but that county replaced him after his arrest.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.