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Crafton police officer's pension appeal denied by court

| Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 1:32 p.m.
Former Crafton Patrolman Donnie Breeden

A former Crafton police officer's battle over his pension denial appears to be over.

Former Patrolman Donnie L. Breeden was fired after his 2009 arrest for leaving the scene of a fatal 2007 accident on the South Side. His application for a vested pension benefit was denied by the borough's pension plan administrator because he was fired for cause.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in a Dec. 4, 2012, opinion, upheld the pension denial because he was fired for cause. Breeden had 30 days to file an appeal to the state Supreme Court, but the court had no record of an appeal after the 30-day period expired Jan. 3.

“As of right now, it would appear that he hasn't made any further appeal,” Crafton solicitor John Daley said.

The Supreme Court said if Breeden's appeal got caught up in the mail system, it still would be honored if it was sent before the 30-day period expired.

Crafton officials fired Breeden on Aug. 3, 2009, about a month after he was arrested on charges he hit David Hall, 24, on West Carson Street in July 2007 and left the scene. Hall, who was hit by two other cars, later died.

Breeden later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident and no contest to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one to two years in state prison. He was off duty at the time of the crash.

Breeden appealed his termination and his pension denial separately. He stopped the termination appeal after the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas upheld the borough's decision, and Daley said it looks as though Breeden has dropped his other appeal.

“It would appear the denial of his appeal is final,” Daley said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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