Share This Page

Judge dismisses disorderly conduct charge against Jeannette councilman

| Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 2:51 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.

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.