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Attorney predicts Elizabeth Forward director will be cleared of charges

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 3:51 a.m.

An Elizabeth Forward school director's attorney believes his client will be exonerated of a charge of receiving stolen property.

β€œA police report can be drafted in a way that sounds more damning than it is,” Jefferson Hills attorney Charles LoPresti said about the case against Francis J. Posa, 47, of Elizabeth.

On March 11 Posa and his girlfriend, Linda Lee Baker, 41, of West Mifflin were arraigned on charges stemming from the theft of jewelry and coins from the Port Vue home of Baker's mother.

Police said Baker's mother was staying with one of her other daughters while recovering from a surgical procedure.

According to an Allegheny County police affidavit, Posa sold two gold coins to a dealer in Elizabeth while the couple tried to sell jewelry and coins at a dealer in Belle Vernon.

β€œIn the end I think there will be a very logical explanation that will exonerate him from any criminal responsibility,” LoPresti said at Elizabeth Forward's school offices where the district board of directors was meeting.

LoPresti was there to deal with any comment that might be made about the Port Vue case, but there was no mention of it during nearly two hours of discussion about budgetary and other district business.

The district officially has had no comment about the case.

Baker was charged with felony counts of burglary, receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking. LoPresti said he is not her attorney.

Posa is free on nonmonetary bond while Baker is in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond, both pending a Tuesday hearing before Magisterial District Judge Armand Martin in Glassport.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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