A Scranton police chief may not do the job of a unionized police officer unless immediate action is required, meaning former Chief Dan Duffy violated labor law by repeatedly conducting routine police work, a state Labor Relations Board hearing examiner has ruled.

In a proposed order forbidding chiefs from making arrests, hearing examiner Jack E. Marino made it clear former Chief Duffy's behavior went far beyond making arrests when he spotted a crime in progress. The chief conducted regular patrols that should be done by unionized officers under the union's contract with the city, Mr. Marino said.

Mr. Duffy resigned in July to direct the police academy at Lackawanna College, but the city police union pressed its challenge to police chiefs doing normal police work.

The ruling becomes final Jan. 24 unless the city challenges it, but no challenge is planned.