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Former Springdale police officer charged with drug possession, stealing badge

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Erica Hilliard, staff photographer
Former Springdale police officer Jeremy Liotta.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
 

A former Springdale police officer is charged with possession of drugs and stealing his own police badge.

Harmar police charged Jeremy Liotta, 24, of Apartment 7, 433 Guys Run Road, Indiana Township, with theft of the badge, impersonating a public servant, possession of pills and several vehicle registration violations.

Harmar police said Liotta was driving a car that was pulled over along Alpha Drive at about 11 p.m. on May 17 for not having a current registration sticker.

Police allege Liotta started to identify himself as a Springdale police officer “and then corrected himself.”

Police said they searched the car after seeing a white powder on the floor of the car.

According to an affidavit, police found a shortened straw and some pills, one of which was crushed into a powder, and the badge inside a bag in Liotta's car.

Liotta told police the pills and a shortened straw “must have been in there from a case” that he was working on when employed as an officer.

According to the affidavit, Liotta told Harmar police the badge and other items were among his personal belongings “thrown into the bag by Chief (Joseph) Naviglia of Springdale Borough” when Liotta resigned from the force.

Police identified the pills as Metformin Hydrochloride, a medicine used to treat diabetes.

The affidavit also states that a Fox Chapel police dog searched the car but found no other drugs.

Liotta was released pending an investigation.

Naviglia said Liotta was suspended by the borough mayor in April 2012 and was given a chance to resign, which he did.

“If there was evidence, why was it not logged in?” Naviglia asked Wednesday.

Naviglia said that after the resignation, he and former Sgt. Mark Thom Jr. went through Liotta's items at the station and “would not have put the badge there.”

Attempts to reach Liotta were unsuccessful.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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