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Judge dismisses disorderly conduct charge against Jeannette councilman

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By Richard Gazarik
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 2:45 p.m.
 

A Jeannette councilman has been cleared of a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a shouting match with the city clerk in March at city hall.

District Judge Helen Kistler of Penn Township on Wednesday dropped the charge against Gabriel Homan, saying the evidence presented at a preliminary hearing failed to substantiate the charge.Mayor Richard Jacobelli testified that he was talking with City Clerk Michael Minyon Jr. when Homan came into the office and inquired about a report that Minyon was to have prepared for him. The councilman is studying whether the city should maintain a paid fire department that employs Minyon's son-in-law, Michael Bertolino.

“He asked Mr. Minyon several times,” Jacobelli testified.

“Who started the yelling?” asked Jeannette police Cpl. Jeff Stahl, who filed the charge.

“Mr. Homan,” the mayor said. “Mr. Minyon was stonewalling him on that particular report.”

Jacobelli said Homan and Minyon were matching each other “volume for volume” when he ordered both men to calm down.

Homan left the office and Minyon followed him into the hallway, Jacobelli testified.

Under questioning by Homan's lawyer, Harry Smail Jr., Jacobelli said Minyon pursued Homan.

“Mr. Homan retreated and left the office. Mr. Minyon left the office and went after him?” asked Smail.

“Homan retreated and left, and Mr. Minyon chose to keep the discussion going,” Jacobelli said.

The argument continued in the lobby of city hall and drew Stahl out of the police station to investigate.

Homan left the building. Minyon complain of heart problems and went home. He was later treated at a hospital and hasn't returned to work since the incident, according to city officials.

Smail argued that Homan is Minyon's superior and repeatedly refused Homan's request for the report.

Homan said he was pleased with Kistler's decision.

“Justice was done,” he said.

“Mr. Minyon wasn't so interested to even show up and testify,” Smail added. “He's threatened a civil lawsuit, and that clearly indicates a political desire to harm Mr. Homan.”

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at rgazarik@tribweb.com.

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