Ex-chief to seek damages from Monroeville officials
An attorney representing former Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole said Thursday he will seek additional damages against some municipal leaders following Cole's termination.
Cole filed a lawsuit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in February against the municipality, a faction of council and the municipal manager after his demotion from chief to sergeant, claiming his contract and the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act were violated.
“Our intention at this point is to take their bank accounts, cars, houses, do whatever is necessary to punish them the way they've punished Doug Cole,” said attorney Michael Colarusso.
Municipal Manager Lynette McKinney fired Cole on Wednesday with a letter that explained he will receive his final paycheck on Sept. 27. McKinney said on Thursday that she cannot comment on personnel matters.
Under the home rule charter, the municipal manager has the authority to discipline department heads.
Colarusso claims that limiting Cole to a sergeant's pension is a retaliatory measure for the lawsuit Cole filed in February. McKinney demoted Cole to sergeant without cause that month.
She suspended him in August and placed him on administrative leave in September. The suspension and dismissal are being appealed, Colarusso said.
Councilman Steve Duncan — a member of the three-person minority on what has become a split, seven-member council — said he has been kept in the dark about recent actions.
“There was absolutely no explanation given to me as a councilman as to why he was first of all given time off, and now fired,” Duncan said.
A federal investigation was begun by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when now-police Chief Steve Pascarella filed a complaint with the department in August 2012, citing concerns that federal health care privacy laws may have been violated under Cole's watch.
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.
- Newsmaker: Tom Dubaniewicz
- Thrival concert event moves from Bakery Square to LTV site in Hazelwood
- PennEnvironment threatens to sue steel giant under Clean Air Act
- U.S. Appeals Court reduces damages in Carnegie Mellon patent infringement case
- Alcosan faces over $2.6M in bond costs, could save more than $30M
- Man accused of killing Brookline woman denied bail
- Allegheny County will spray for mosquitoes Wednesday night in Munhall and Homestead
- New interim director to take over VA regional office in Pittsburgh
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s banding program a labor of love for avian expert
- Derry boy recovering at home after high-profile intestinal transplant