Share This Page

Cecil police chief on paid leave pending investigation of account for sting operations

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 4:03 p.m.

Cecil officials this week placed their longtime police chief on paid administrative leave pending an independent investigation and audit of a federal account used to pay for sting operations.

“There is nothing I could say at this point about any funds not being accounted for,” said Phillip Binotto, a Cecil resident and labor lawyer with Eckert Seamans hired to look into the matter. “This should not be construed in any way that is negative.”

Township supervisors on Monday unanimously placed John Pushak, 63, on paid leave at Binotto's recommendation.

“It was for his protection as well as the township's,” said Binotto, adding that his investigation could be completed within two weeks.

Pushak joined the Cecil department in 1974. He could not be reached for comment.

Capt. Sean Bukovinsky will serve as officer-in-charge indefinitely.

Township Manager Donald Gennuso said he could not comment. He referred questions to solicitor John Smith and Supervisor Chairman Thomas Casciola. Neither returned messages for comment.

District Attorney Eugene Vittone said Binotto and Smith briefly met with him last week.

“Nobody brought any wrongdoing to my attention,” Vittone said. “Certainly, nobody has said there is any money missing from this account or anything.”

The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment, spokeswoman Margaret Philbin said.

Binotto said he believes the federal account is audited annually. He could not say what brought about the need for increased scrutiny this time.

“There was some concern, and the township asked me to look into it,” Binotto said. “I'm not looking into why that concern came about.”

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@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.