State trooper suspended without pay is target of probe
State police suspended a top investigator at the Greensburg barracks without pay on Monday, saying he's the target of a probe.
Agency spokeswoman Maria Finn confirmed the suspension of Cpl. Robert W. Stauffer, 52, of Adamsburg, adding only that his removal from the Greensburg barracks is “part of an ongoing investigation.”
Reached by the Tribune-Review, Stauffer said, “I can't comment on any allegations against me.”
Stauffer, who has not been criminally charged, was serving under Lt. Paul R. DeStefano as a crime unit supervisor at the Greensburg headquarters. There, he had been working on white-collar crimes, large thefts of money or property, violent crimes and long probes, according to police records released to the Trib through a state Right-to-Know request.
He also was assigned to the Greensburg barracks' elite Special Emergency Response Team, or SERT, as a hostage negotiator. DeStefano, didn't return telephone calls seeking comment.
In recent years, the Greensburg crime unit has targeted suspects alleged to be major drug dealers. Troopers in 2010 shut down a Scott Township marijuana distribution operation run by Alfred Argiro, 27.
Last June, Stauffer's SERT team raided the Hempfield home of reputed Pagans Motorcycle Club boss Dennis “Rooster” Katona, seizing an estimated $20,000 worth of narcotics. The trial for Katona, who posted a $500,000 bond, has been continued twice over the past year.
A longtime trooper hired in 1989, Stauffer was decorated in 1991 for responding to the Camp Hill Prison riots.
Last year, he earned $107,244 — similar to what he made in 2010 — according to state police pay records.
Leaders of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the union that represents Stauffer, said they were surprised to learn that Stauffer was the target of an investigation and had been suspended without pay.
“The PSTA has not received any information on this matter. However, as a policy we do not comment on private personnel matters,” said union President Joseph Kovel.
Carl Prine is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Love locks tokens fall prey to renovations on Pittsburgh bridges
- Nearing 25 years together, WPXI anchors Johnson, Finnegan defy TV’s odds
- Bike lane work to affect Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh
- MLB notebook: Astros fire manager amid dismal season
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Districts aim to win back students from cyber charters
- NFL notebook: Rams leave Sam off practice squad
- Trac Fabrication all-terrain wheelchairs open world for disabled
- Surveillance video in Wal-Mart police killing sought
- East Allegheny teachers set to strike on Tuesday
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense