Share This Page

Former East Washington chief pleads guilty in corruption case

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 3:58 p.m.

A former East Washington police chief pleaded guilty on Friday to providing protection and Tasers to undercover agents he thought were drug runners and could spend up to 20 years in prison.

Donald Solomon, 56, also admitted that when a confidential source asked him to run a criminal background check on one of the purported drug traffickers, he asked, “Does he want to hire me? I've got nothing to do on the weekends.”

Later that day, when he handed over the report, he told the confidential source, “Tell him I'm the best cop money can buy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar said as he summarized the government's case.

Solomon pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Hobbs Act, which makes it illegal for public officials to perform official actions for personal gain.

He faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine for each count.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti allowed Solomon to remain free on bond with an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew so he can work until his sentencing on May 3.

Solomon and his attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Marketa Sims, declined to comment after the hearing.

Dennis Markel, East Washington's solicitor, said Solomon was suspended without pay when he was charged with the crimes, but it was unclear whether the borough fired him. The borough council will formally do that at its next meeting to make his status clear and allow the borough to search for a new chief.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Solomon engaged in “stark and brazen criminal conduct,” and he believes Solomon should spend time in prison.

“When a person says, ‘I will be the best cop money can buy,' that is official public corruption of the worst kind,” Hickton said.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer forTrib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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.