Tab for Monroeville investigation reaches $26,000
An investigation of potential privacy law violations will cost Monroeville taxpayers more than $26,000, as council awaits the results.
Municipal officials retained Dickie McCamey & Chilcote to investigate the potential violation of federal and state privacy laws through the Monroeville dispatch center's computer database. The results of the investigation are scheduled to be released to council on June 20.
To help pay for the internal probe, council voted Tuesday night to use $35,000 budgeted to pay an assistant police chief this year.
There currently is no assistant police chief after a series of personnel moves in February. Municipal Manager Lynette McKinney demoted then-police Chief Doug Cole to sergeant and elevated then-Assistant Police Chief Steve Pascarella to the position.
Council voted 4-3 to transfer the funds. Council members Nick Gresock, Steve Duncan and Jim Johns voted against.
“The bigger issue I have, personally, is that we are spending money on special legal counsel for this endeavor, so to speak,” Gresock said.
The law firm was hired in March, in response to a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A letter from HHS to the municipality listed the necessary information that the municipality was to provide in order for the federal investigation to move forward.
“The solicitor himself has told us on more than one occasion that his recommendation is that we have special legal counsel for this situation,” Councilman Bernhard Erb said.
“But it's been investigating - in my opinion - more things than it was supposed to investigate,” replied Johns.
The law firm is investigating a potential violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which provides the right to privacy for an individual's health care information. The law firm investigated a potential violation of state privacy laws as it relates to the computer system at the dispatch center, officials said last month.
An invoice from the law firm, based Downtown, shows fees of about $26,000 for the month of April and part of March. The invoice does not include the cost of a private investigator, a forensic computer investigator and attorney fees for May.
There also is $15,000 in the budget for special legal counsel, which can be used to pay for the investigation, McKinney said.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Trailer fire puts Rayburn family out of home
- Ford City delays decision on accountant’s job
- Rain washes out concert, not comeback for Kittanning bar band
- Pirates hope 1st baseman Alvarez starts to regain power stroke
- Starkey: Cervelli’s inspiration
- Gameday: Pirates at Tigers, June 30, 2015
- Guests share thoughts on faith during feast at Richland mosque
- More witness intimidation charges are filed against Plum teacher
- Supreme Court justices ream EPA for ignoring costs to meet air standards
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data
- Murrysville native Bullock vying for health magazine’s ‘Next Fitness Star’