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Former mayoral candidate remains in jail stemming from bogus 911 calls, bail set at $30K

| Saturday, April 5, 2014, 12:53 p.m.

A former Pittsburgh mayoral candidate was in jail on Saturday on charges he and his wife made more than 100 bogus emergency calls from their Sheraden home.

Police on Friday charged A.J. Richardson, 37, with criminal conspiracy, making false reports and retaliation against a witness or victim.

District Judge Elissa Lang on Saturday set his bail at $30,000, and court officials placed a separate detainer on him for a probation violation.

Police charged Felecia Richardson, 43, with criminal conspiracy and making false reports. Lang ordered that she be released on her own recognizance.

The Richardsons have denied the charges.

The couple's preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 14.

Court records show that officials placed a detainer on Richardson for violating his probation in connection with a 2013 drunken driving charge. The detainer means Richardson could remain in jail even if he posted bail.

Richardson, 37, who ran for mayor in the 2013 Democratic primary, was sentenced to four days in an alternative-to-jail program and six months' probation on Oct. 22, having pleaded guilty to the drunken driving charge.

Police said the couple made dozens of 911 calls from their home and cellular phones during the past several weeks. Police said the calls, claiming that people were being threatened at the home or begging for help, were fake. When police responded to the calls, according to an arrest report, Richardson and his family claimed there were no problems.

Many times, police said, Richardson and family members recorded police, either on cellphones or hand-held cameras.

Richardson claimed that police were harassing him because of an incident in September. In that incident, police said, Richardson fought with his neighbor and then with police when they arrested him. Richardson is scheduled for a May trial on charges including aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and burglary in connection with the row.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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