Trooper, wife file lawsuit against new Butler commissioner
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."
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.
- Aldi set to open Cranberry location
- Connequenessing Valley innovative learning space emphasizes interaction
- Grant provides resources for SRO officer at Seneca Valley
- Drilling regulations divisive in Middlesex
- High number of rentals a double-edged sword for Butler
- Butler County community reigns as king of Cranberries
- Butler County holiday events schedule
- Butler County to join growing 911 network
- Plan calls for closing all Butler city elementary schools
- Middlesex natural gas drilling hearings under way