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Monroeville weighs action on allegedly flawed probe into 911 computer system

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By Kyle Lawson
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 11:21 p.m.
 

Monroeville Council will decide next week whether an investigator will be hired to examine a probe into allegations that unauthorized individuals accessed information through the community's 911 dispatch computer system.

A move to potentially launch a new investigation was criticized this week by residents and legal experts, who accused council of violating state law.

Solicitor Bruce Dice said the cost of any new investigation, if approved by council, would not exceed $10,000.

“There's no deal yet,” Dice said at a council meeting on Thursday. “There's no contract for an internal probe.”

Dice said he had inquired with CSI Western PA in recent weeks to gauge its interest in conducting an investigation, but the firm had only “made some inquiries.” Council has not publicly discussed the decision to reach out to CSI Western PA.

A decision made without discussion in a public meeting could violate the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association in Harrisburg.

Councilman Ron Harvey said council was supposed to vote on hiring the investigator at meetings last month, but didn't. He called it an oversight.

The law firm Dickie McCamey & Chilcote P.C. was hired to conduct the previous investigation that led to then-Manager Lynette McKinney firing a police chief and three dispatchers. The four employees have since been returned to their positions, and McKinney, who was later fired, has filed a lawsuit seeking severance pay from the municipality.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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