Westmoreland deputies now subject to drug testing
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Westmoreland County deputy sheriffs will join the growing number of county employees to be drug-tested in an attempt to detect use of controlled substances.
County commissioners on Thursday awarded a contract to a North Huntingdon Township company to conduct random drug tests on the sheriff's department staff.
The tests were approved last month as part of a new labor contract between the county and the union that represents the deputies.
“I'm just glad it got approved and we can move forward with it,” said Sheriff Jonathan Held. “This will increase the public's trust in the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office.”
Held's office has been plagued by controversy this year involving staffing issues and alleged drug use.
Held forced the resignation of a part-time deputy earlier this year after she was arrested for allegedly using drugs outside an East Liberty department store.
Held later disclosed that a clerk, who has since left the office, had been charged with using someone else's urine for a drug test in a civil case unrelated to the sheriff's department.
The sheriff also confirmed a deputy he hired last year was charged with giving a minor alcohol in 2009 and served probation for one year. In a fourth case, a deputy was arrested for drunken driving in February.
In response to those disclosures, Held paid for drug testing of his 11-member administrative staff, including himself.
The sheriff on Thursday declined to reveal the results of those tests.
In April, commissioners approved a policy that requires all new county employees to pass a drug test before they are offered jobs.
Unionized deputies were the last bargaining unit among the county's public safety workers to agree to random drug testing. Tests already have been conducted for probation officers, prison guards and park police officers.
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.
- Latrobe hospital source of fuel spill
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Greensburg bishop’s time at helm draws to a close
- Unity woman loses appeal of DUI conviction
- Jeannette to use grant to secure Monsour
- Fuel spill discovered on Loyalhanna Creek
- Wilkinsburg man jailed in heroin overdose case
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Mt. Pleasant’s St. Pius X serves up Lenten meals
- Murrysville police will get raises in 5-year pact