| News

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

Officials, officer strike deal on care for K-9

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Penn Township commissioners approved a $5,000 settlement Wednesday with a police officer who sued the municipality for overtime pay for caring for a now-retired police dog outside of normal work hours.

Township Solicitor Leslie Mlakar said Officer Ross Piraino will receive $1,666 of the settlement for payment of back wages. The remainder will be for Piraino's attorney fees.

Piraino claimed in the suit that he should be compensated at an overtime rate for the time he spent providing food and water, grooming and veterinary care outside of normal working hours. The suit was filed in April in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

Court documents do not indicate an amount Piraino was seeking.

“His initial demands were ... very high,” Mlakar said during the township's regular meeting.

Piraino joined the force in November 2006 and began working with Charro, a German shepherd, in early 2009. The dog was retired in January after behavioral issues and township commissioners agreed the following month to sell Charro to Piraino for $1.

Piraino claimed in the suit that he is entitled to relief under the Fair Labor Standards Act, claiming that “off-the-clock” work included maintaining and cleaning the kennel and yard, ridding his house of dirt and hair, providing water and food, grooming, applying flea and tick treatments, and exercising and training the dog.

Mlakar said the settlement will help the township avoid ongoing legal costs.

“When you look at the costs of litigation, etc., it's not worth it,” he said.

In other business, commissioners approved the purchase of three police vehicles for $68,250. Also, the sale of four older model, “surplus” vehicles for $5,345 was approved.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
  2. Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
  3. Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
  4. Harrold Middle School students hit new high with food drive
  5. Mt. Pleasant plan has no call for tax increase
  6. Mt. Pleasant Guard unit may be deployed again
  7. Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
  8. Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
  9. Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
  10. Youngwood officials defend rules for rentals
  11. Sounds of Christmas coming to Fay-West region