Westmoreland County commissioners consider settlement to former inmate who claims guard beat him
Westmoreland County commissioners are expected to approve a payment to a former jail inmate to head off a potential lawsuit claiming he was beaten by a guard at the facility two years ago.
Commissioners will vote to pay Sheldon Pinnock $7,500 at a meeting Thursday morning.
Pinnock, 26 of Arnold claimed he was attacked by guard David Simms when he was being booked into the county jail on May 26, 2011.
Solicitor R. Mark Gesalman said Pinnock contended he argued with Simms about money during his intake. Simms pulled Pinnock across a desk and beat him, Gesalman said.
Pinnock sustained minor injuries in the assault, according to Gesalman.
“The corrections officer was suspended and there was an attempt to dismiss him,” Gesalman said.
Human Resources Director Chuck Dominick said Simms' firing was overturned by an arbiter in April 2012, who determined the guard should keep his job because he was a longtime county employee and had no prior record of poor job performance.
Dominick said Simms, who served more than eight months on suspension, did not get credit for back pay while he was off the job.
Pinnock's lawyer, Fran Murrman, did not file a lawsuit in the case. Murrman said he could not comment on the case, citing a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement.
Ed Yankovich, vice president for the United Mine Workers of America, the union that represents guards at the jail, defended Simms.
“We don't believe Dave was guilty of excessive force and we stand by our decision to fight his termination,” Yankovich said.
Warden John Walton said Simms was back on the job, working a regular shift as a guard.
Pinnock has since been released from prison, according to Murrman.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Arbitration decides Westmoreland court workers’ pact
- Plenty of ‘pain’ to share, as Westmoreland County budget OK’d with $8M in cuts
- Youngwood fire department reaches out to homeless family
- Home of LeNature’s exec up for sale
- Mt. Pleasant man charged with unlawful restraint
- 11 Westmoreland inmates accused of setting fire put in solitary confinement
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
- Greensburg police Officer Scalzo commended for stopping suicide
- Greensburg woman charged with stabbing husband
- Demolition project at Oliver’s Pourhouse in Greensburg moves ahead