Felony hacking charge won't be filed against fired Plum officer
The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will not refile a felony charge of hacking against Jeremy J. Cumberledge, the fired Plum police officer accused of illegally snooping through borough computer records.
On June 11, Plum District Justice Linda Inez Zucco questioned the borough's evidence that a hacking felony had been committed and dismissed a charge of unlawful use of a computer.
“We felt it was made clear during the preliminary hearing that even though we had all the elements of a favorable prosecution, the court felt that since Cumberledge did not personally gain from his actions, either financially or otherwise, the charges were not warranted,” DA spokesman Mike Manko wrote on Tuesday in an email to the Tribune-Review.
Told by the Trib of the decision, Cumberledge, 31, said he welcomed the “great news” and vowed to keep fighting to get his job back through an arbitration hearing guaranteed by the police union's collective bargaining agreement.
His criminal defense attorney, Michael J. Deriso, called the criminal case against Cumberledge “ridiculous” and praised the DA for “doing the right thing” by nixing the prosecution that began April 10, nearly a month after borough council fired the officer.
Cumberledge, who was hired full time in 2007, has been less successful obtaining jobless benefits. A June 20 order from the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review revealed that Cumberledge was caught on camera wrongfully accessing the Plum chief of police's computer files. Cumberledge eavesdropped on the “network profiles” of other officers and the “medical documents and financial information” of other employees — including “user names and passwords to banking files” — before erasing his browsing history from the police station terminals, according to the board's decision.
Deriso said that the unemployment ruling was “as absurd as the initial charges,” with the administrative judge refusing to let him call witnesses refuting the borough's probe. He told the Trib that Cumberledge is appealing that decision and predicted that the former officer would win that, too.
Police Chief Jeffrey Armstrong and Plum Manager Michael Thomas declined comment.
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.
- Duquesne University to raise minimum wage floor
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto returning from manufacturing trade mission to Cuba
- Land eyed for trail connectors to expand Harrison Hills Park
- Plum schools, dealing with sex scandal, to form panel in June
- Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
- Former executive says Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority fired her for reporting overbilling
- Air rifle incidents on the rise, experts say
- Lawsuit filed against PWSA for inaccurate billing from radio-controlled meter readers
- Mt. Lebanon police chief to retire, replacement selected
- Aging natural gas pipelines in Green Tree to be replaced
- Allegheny County Council begins process to replace Barbara Daly Danko