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Sewickley Township worker threatened official, police say

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Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Sewickley Township employee who has been off work for six months is accused of threatening to kill a township supervisor if an employment hearing “did not go his way,” authorities said.

Barry J. Byzon, 60, was charged on Thursday with terroristic threats for allegedly threatening to shoot Wanda Layman, who serves as the township's office manager, according to a criminal complaint filed by Westmoreland County detectives.

“We've been living in fear. I'm concerned about the safety of all the (township) employees,” Layman said.

Byzon was arraigned before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner and released on $25,000 unsecured bond.

Christner ordered Byzon not to have any contact with Layman, the other two supervisors or any township employee. Byzon was ordered to turn over any weapons he might own to county detectives.

Byzon, a township employee for 14 years, could not be reached for comment. Detective Thomas Horan, who filed the charges against Byzon, could not be reached for comment.

Byzon had been on medical leave since April, a criminal complaint said. Layman declined to comment about why he was on leave.

Byzon allegedly threatened to kill Layman on Tuesday morning during a confrontation with township workers who were preparing to pave Middlemiss Road. He told them if the hearing did not go his way, “Wanda was going to be in the cemetery, and he was going to jail,” according to the affidavit.

Layman declined to comment on Byzon's employment status. His employment hearing at the township, which had been scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed.

As a result of the threat, the township hired private security for the municipal building and canceled the supervisors' meeting, which was scheduled for Oct. 17.

“We're trying to secure the township (property) to make it safe,” Layman said.

Byzon is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 28 before Christner.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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