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Springdale cop accused in sex scandal to resign

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 12:24 p.m.

An “agreement in principle” has been reached for a suspended Springdale police officer to resign, borough Council President David Finley said Wednesday.

Officer David E. Walton has been on suspension since accusations were made that he was having sex with a woman in an unmarked borough police car while on duty last week.

The borough held a closed hearing on Walton's suspension on Monday.

“My understanding is he's resigned,” Finley said. “There's an agreement in principle.”

Phone numbers for Walton that operated within the past week have been disconnected. He and his wife have previously declined to comment.

Council has not yet accepted a resignation, and Walton remains suspended, Finley said. He said council may schedule a special meeting to act on the issue. Council's next regular meeting is Nov. 19.

Finley said Walton will be paid for unused vacation and sick days, but not as part of any agreement.

“It's not in exchange. We owe it to him. He's earned that,” Finley said. “You can't take away something somebody's earned.”

The borough's labor attorney, Craig Alexander, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Mayor Eileen Miller, who heads the police department, could not be reached for comment.

Finley said Walton was being represented by the Fraternal Order of Police. An FOP representative could not be reached for comment.

According to Springdale officials, several juveniles said they saw Walton with a woman in an unmarked police car on Sherosky Way off Butler Street near the Allegheny River. They said Walton was the only officer on duty at the time.

The allegations against Walton are the latest regarding the police department.

The borough's insurance carrier recently paid $225,000 to settle a federal lawsuit involving alleged civil rights violations against a man by former borough police Sgt. Mark E. Thom and other officers.

Thom pleaded guilty in March to a federal charge of depriving the man of his civil rights. Thom is scheduled to be sentenced in January in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

Another former officer, Jeremy Liotta, was charged with possession of drugs and stealing his own police badge after a traffic stop in May in Harmar. He was no longer a borough officer at that time.

His preliminary hearing on the charges, which has been delayed, is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 30 before Plum Judge Linda Zucco, according to court records.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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