| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Trooper, wife file lawsuit against new Butler commissioner

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Saturday, April 21, 2012, 1:49 a.m.

A state trooper and his wife have filed a lawsuit accusing Butler County Commissioner James Eckstein of spreading false stories that they covered up the drunken- driving charge of another commissioner.

Trooper Scott Altman and wife Lori, the county's personnel director, filed the suit in county court on Thursday. They seek at least $35,000 in damages, plus legal fees.

The lawsuit claims that Eckstein repeatedly said that Scott Altman -- a 21-year veteran of the state police -- intervened to clear Commissioner Dale Pinkerton after Pinkerton was stopped for drunken driving and that Lori Altman was rewarded for her husband's assistance with a 20 percent raise.

Eckstein did not return phone calls on Friday.

Lt. Eric Hermick, head of the state police Butler barracks, said there's no indication that Eckstein's claims about the Altmans are true. Scott Altman remains on duty.

"The initial investigation shows that this never happened. If there was evidence that false charges were made to a law enforcement officer, then we would pursue charges against someone for that," Hermick said.

County records show that Lori Altman received a raise from about $29 an hour to $35 an hour on Dec. 7. Pinkerton, a Republican, voted to approve the increase.

Eckstein, a Democrat who took office in January, said he opposed the raise because it was too high. The commissioners who voted for it said they considered her underpaid.

Pinkerton filed a similar defamation lawsuit against Eckstein this month. In that lawsuit, Pinkerton said Eckstein grandstands for cameras and that after becoming commissioner in January, he "abused his public forum to castigate, embarrass and assault the dignity of employees of Butler County."


Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
  2. Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
  3. Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
  4. Holiday cards evoke Pittsburgh cheer, benefit charities
  5. WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
  6. Take deal breakers off your list of deal breakers
  7. WPIAL history full of football dynasties
  8. Gorman: Dynasties began with devastating defeats
  9. WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
  10. Fashion FYI: Cheeks lingerie store opens in Squirrel Hill
  11. Democrats unfazed by Paris