Radnor Board President Philip Ahr skips meeting

The Radnor Township Board of Commissioners convened for its bimonthly meeting Monday evening without President Philip Ahr.

The Radnor Township Board of Commissioners convened Monday for its regularly scheduled meeting, but it met with President Philip Ahr absent and his name plaque missing from the board’s crescent desk.

The meeting was the first since the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that Ahr, a Democrat, was being investigated by the county’s Criminal Investigations Division for undisclosed reasons. It began with a statement by Commissioners Vice President Elaine Schaefer.

“While the investigation continues, this board will focus on conducting the business of this township and serving the members of our community,” Schaefer said. “When developments occur with the criminal investigation, we will address them as appropriate. However, until that time, Radnor Township will be making no further comment.”

After that, the board continued with its agenda.

But when the meeting was turned over for public comment about 15 minutes later, Wayne resident Dan Sherry Jr., who attends most township meetings, assailed board members for their silence, bringing up past controversies involving Schaefer, Commissioner James Higgins, and former Commissioner Bill Spingler — who in June was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 103-year-old woman.

“Phil Ahr is president of the Board of Commissioners, serves as this board’s representative on the Ethics Board, an ethics board that is actively investigating the vice president of this board,” Sherry said. “Is Phil Ahr being investigated for something financial, Commissioner Schaefer? No comment. Is it something violence-related? No comment. Is it something sexual-related? No comment.

“This board, again, is in the reputational business around our township, among other responsibilities,” Sherry said.

After that, the board continued with its business.

Calls made to the District Attorney’s Office on Monday to discuss the investigation were not returned.

Earlier Monday, knocks went unanswered at Ahr’s two-story twin gray stucco home. A Sheriff’s Department car was parked across the one-way street, though it was unclear whether the cruiser was there in connection to the investigation.

Ahr, 66, who represents the Seventh Ward, has lived in the Main Line township he represents for the last 22 years.

He became a commissioner in January 2016 and was elevated to the board president post in April of that year, in a 4-3 vote along party lines, after James Higgins stepped down amid controversy over $979,749 he inserted into a budget for storm-water management. The budget had already been passed without the inclusion of the funds. Higgins apologized for a “mistake” and remains on the board as a commissioner.

Staff writer Erin McCarthy contributed to this article.