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Penn Twp. employee, Penn-Trafford school director arrested for taking guns to municipal building

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, 11:43 a.m.
Dallas Leonard
Eric McCandless
Dallas Leonard

A longtime Penn Township employee and Penn-Trafford school director was charged Tuesday with simple assault and harassment for allegedly taking guns to the municipal building on numerous occasions and pointing them at two employees, according to police.

Westmoreland County detectives allege that Dallas Leonard, 65, brought the weapons to work on multiple occasions in 2016 and 2017. Leonard is the township's community development director.

Township manager Alex Graziani declined to comment and directed questions to the solicitor and labor attorney, who both said they couldn't comment on Leonard's employment status because it is a personnel matter.

Two male employees reported to Detective Randy Gardner that Leonard is “fond of handguns and frequently purchases them” and would show the firearms to them at the township building in Harrison City, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Both men told police they have objected to Leonard allegedly pointing the weapons at them, but the defendant “laughs it off,” Gardner wrote in the complaint.

“(One of the victims) stated he has no idea if the guns are loaded (or) not and he feels unsafe and in danger when this happens,” Gardner wrote.

“(The other victim) stated he has no way of knowing if the guns are loaded or not and it certainly makes him uncomfortable,” the detective wrote in the complaint.

Leonard is charged with two counts each of simple assault and harassment. The charges have been mailed by summons, and a preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 31 before District Judge Charles Conway.

When reached by phone Wednesday, Leonard said he hadn't seen a copy of the complaint and declined to comment.

He said he has been planning to retire for the past month. He has worked for the township for more than 25 years.

As community development director, Leonard processes applications and permits for various land uses, such as subdivisions and building permits, as well as property maintenance complaints. His annual salary is $77,000.

Leonard, who lives in the township, was elected to the school board in 2007 and is vice chairman of the Penn Township Sewage Authority.

An attorney listed in online court records did not return a phone message.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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