Homestead mayor says council engaged in 'witch hunt'
Homestead Mayor Betty Esper and Teamsters Local 205 secretary-treasurer Carl Bailey said they believe some council members are engaging in a witch hunt against borough police officers.
Following council's two-hour executive session for personnel matters on Monday, the mayor said that some councilors don't want the police officers to do their jobs.
“Instead of supporting us, they're always criticizing the police department,” Esper said.
The executive session began around 6 p.m. The public meeting was advertised to begin at 7 but was not called to order until 8:18, and council did not take any action on business.
“No business came before council,” borough solicitor Bernie Schneider said.
Bailey, police Chief Jeff DeSimone and other police officers were called into the closed-door session.
Councilors reportedly were questioning police behavior during a prostitution bust on March 22 along Sarah Street.
“I think they're on a witch hunt,” Bailey said.
Steel Valley Magisterial At a preliminary hearing on Wednesday for Diana Gross, 26, District Judge Thomas R. Torkowsky held for court charges of promoting prostitution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Charges against Alisa Jones of disorderly conduct were moved to nontraffic court in connection with the same incident.
Charges of resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia were withdrawn.
Police said the two women were promoting prostitution via posts on a Pittsburgh website.
“We're doing our job,” DeSimone said. “Why we're being brought here because we're doing our job is beyond me.”
Bailey was visibly frustrated after Monday's discussion.
“This is (expletive), calling this meeting,” Bailey said. “You're going to sit back and judge what these guys do on a daily basis. That's wrong. I said (to council), ‘What you do is get the Crimes Code and you pick out the articles that you want us to enforce and not enforce and that's what we'll do.'
“They're questioning a possibility of conduct unbecoming a police officer. Their final comment was, ‘We were concerned about officer safety with exposure to sexual diseases.'”
Council members declined to comment about the executive session.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
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.
- Replacement fire chief, safety issues to top McKeesport agenda
- Fast-moving storms strand Mon Valley motorists
- Experts offer Fourth of July safety tips
- Former Kennywood worker held for court on child porn charges
- McKeesport woman headed to trial on arson charge
- McKeesport school board hikes millage in new budget
- Brewster picked for Smith’s seat on Senate Appropriations Committee
- Cost of Lincoln Way project rises dramatically