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Baldwin councilman ready to move on after day in court

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Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 10:42 a.m.

A Baldwin Borough councilman who admitted to stealing $11 in mulch from the town pleaded guilty to a summary disorderly conduct charge in an effort to put the case behind him, his lawyer said Wednesday.

John “Butch” Ferris, 69, a longterm Baldwin councilman, had misdemeanor charges of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property withdrawn on Wednesday in district Judge Pat Capolupo's Pleasant Hills courtroom.

Baldwin Borough district Judge John Bova recused himself from the case.

Ferris instead pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and agreed to pay $11 in restitution to Baldwin Borough for the theft. He also will pay a $100 fine and court costs.

Ferris declined to comment.

“He just wanted to be finished with the whole charge,” said Ferris' attorney Michael Niznik, of the Law Offices of Justin J. Ketchel, LLC.

Baldwin solicitor Michael Lederman said that “nothing happens automatically” to Ferris' seat on council based on his plea.

Baldwin police in August filed charges against Ferris, who at the time oversaw the borough's public works committee, after he admitted to taking half a cubic yard of industrial grade mulch — which had been bought by the borough — from Colewood Park.

Ferris, during a council meeting in August, admitted to taking the mulch and returned it to the borough.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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