BETHLEHEM, Pa. (CBS) – The Bethlehem police chief is retiring following the reposting of an offensive Facebook post. Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez announced Friday he has accepted the retirement letter of Police Chief Mark DiLuzio.
According to the mayor, DiLuzio’s retirement is a result of the consequences of his recent reposting of an offensive Facebook post.
“Chief DiLuzio has accepted that his standing in the community has been compromised. This has happened at a time when the citizens of Bethlehem justly expect the effectiveness of their Chief of Police to be beyond reproach,” Mayor Donchez said in an announcement Friday. “I, and many who know him, will not allow it to outweigh our appreciation for the Chief’s dedication and service to the City of Bethlehem for the over 30 years.”
Eyewitness News has obtained a copy of a Facebook post DiLuzio made before his resignation, where he apologizes for reposting an offensive photo.
“On Sunday, I re-posted a photo. After posting it, I learned there was a message attached to it which does not represent me and that I find offensive. I immediately deleted the post after it was brought to my attention. This message does not represent what I have stood for over the last 40 years as a law enforcement officer. I extend a heartfelt and sincere apology to all who read this offensive post. In the future, I will not be posting on matters of public or political interest,” DiLuzio wrote.
Some community members were happy to see the police chief was stepping down from his position.
“This is what the power of the people looks like! It was incredibly clear that the police chief was not acting in the best interest of every Bethlehem Resident,” Lehigh Valley Stands Up posted on Facebook. “Let this be a lesson. Racism and bigotry will not be tolerated by the people. Whether it’s on social media, in policy, or in private conversation. We are holding you accountable.
And we will replace you. #DefundThePolice.”
DiLuzio served the city of Bethlehem for more than 30 years.
Deputy Chief Scott Meixell will assume the duties of interim Chief of Police.