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Trespassing charges dismissed against UPMC protesters

| Thursday, June 12, 2014, 6:50 p.m.

A district judge on Thursday dismissed trespassing charges against nine clergy members who were among a large group protesting outside UPMC's Downtown headquarters in March.

Judge Anthony M. Ceoffe of Lawrenceville said he dropped the charges after learning of a plea agreement that would have required the defendants to perform community service. He said clergy members perform community services as part of their everyday duties.

He ordered the nine to forfeit $50 apiece they posted as collateral to have a hearing on the summary charges.

Protesters demanding better pay and unionization for UPMC workers tied up traffic for hours on March 3 while picketing outside the healthcare giant's headquarters in the Steel Tower. The nine clergy members were charged with blocking the entrance to UPMC's offices.

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