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Former Plum police officer charged in computer security breach

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Thursday, April 10, 2014, 2:33 p.m.
 

Authorities on Thursday arrested a fired Plum police officer on a charge of unlawful use of a computer.

Jeremy J. Cumberledge, 31, of Browntown Road in Plum, surrendered to detectives with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office at the office of Plum District Judge Linda Zucco, said Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney.

Cumberledge, fired last month, was a patrolman with the police department for seven years. Zucco released him on his own recognizance and set an April 23 hearing.

Cumberledge could not be reached for comment.

Detective Lyle Graber wrote in a criminal complaint that Cumberledge “intentionally viewed and accessed files within areas of the Plum Borough computer network to which he had no authorization.”

The files included those assigned to former police Chief Frank Monaco, current Chief Jeffrey Armstrong, other officers, borough administrative staff and other employees from 2010 through Jan. 11, Graber said.

Cumberledge also accessed the 2012 police civil service test results and files relating to personnel and police bargaining units, the complaint said.

Armstrong became aware of allegations involving Cumberledge on Jan. 9, when he was advised that Cumberledge might “have access to Chief Monaco's computer and computer files,” Graber wrote.

Armstrong declined to comment.

Monaco said he learned about the case on his last day of work in January. He said Cumberledge is accused of accessing files while on duty.

“I am shocked and disappointed,” Monaco said. “I didn't believe it at first. I thought it was rumor or gossip.”

Plum Council fired Cumberledge on March 11; he was suspended with pay on Jan. 11 for what officials called a breach of the municipal computer system.

Borough Manager Michael Thomas said Cumberledge asked for arbitration over his firing, though a hearing isn't set.

If convicted of the felony charge, Cumberledge could be sentenced to 3 12 to 7 years in prison.

Karen Zapf is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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