Seven Fields mayor steps down

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The mayor of Seven Fields is stepping down Sunday, almost nine months since state police seized computers from his home in a child pornography investigation.

In his resignation letter to council, Edward Bayne did not address the investigation, simply saying that he was “in the process of relocating,” and had to resign as mayor.

Bayne on Friday said he is remaining in Western Pennsylvania, and did not explain why he is moving away from Seven Fields.

“Seven Fields is a terrific borough and has a terrific council,” said Bayne, mayor since 2006. “They've done a lot of great things, and it was nice to be a part of that.”

Bayne added that he had no new information about the status of the police investigation. State police could not be reached.

“I haven't heard anything. I was originally told it would take six to eight weeks,” Bayne said.

According to court documents, police on Jan. 16 served a warrant at Bayne's home, and seized several computers and related devices.

While investigating child pornography on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer, file-sharing network on Oct. 24, Trooper David Powell found computer sharing files with child pornography, according to the search warrant. Through the file-sharing program, police identified the computer as being in the Bayne home. Police downloaded 24 files from the computer.

Bayne's term would have ended in December, as he did not run for re-election.

Victor Giannotta, who earned the Republican nomination for mayor in the May primary by beating Joseph Scalamanga 67-41, said he's not actively seeking appointment to Bayne's unexpired term.

The Democrats did not nominate anyone for mayor.

“If they ask me, I would be 100 percent behind being appointed,” Giannotta said. Council President Jack Oakley said he hopes that council could interview candidates and have an appointment ready for a vote at the Sept. 9 meeting. He said Bayne hasn't been at council meetings since last October.

“For us, it's a good thing he's decided to move on,” Oakley said. “It gives us the opportunity to have someone come in and help us.”

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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