Pittsburgh appeals court ruling reinstating fired police officer | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh appeals court ruling reinstating fired police officer

Bob Bauder
Attorney Joel Sansone briefs reporters at his office on Thursday, May 9, 2019, on a federal lawsuit he filed against Pittsburgh on behalf of former city police Officer Robert Kramer (L). Attorney Joel Sansone and his client, former city police Officer Robert Kramer (L).

Pittsburgh has appealed an Allegheny County Court ruling that reinstated a police officer who was fired over an alleged 2017 road rage incident.

This is the second time the city has appealed a decision involving former Officer Robert Kramer, who was reinstated by an arbitration panel earlier this year. Common Pleas Judge Donald R. Walko Jr. in a one-sentence ruling upheld the panel’s decision.

Pittsburgh on Monday appealed Walko’s ruling to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.

Kramer’s attorney Joel Sansone said, “This has been adjudicated at how many different levels now and every adjudicator has said (Kramer) was right and should be reinstated with full back pay and benefits.”

A city official declined comment.

Robert Swartzwelder, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge 1, said the appeal is a waste of taxpayer money.

“Kramer is acquitted by a jury, reinstated with full back pay and benefits by an arbitration decision that was reviewed by a distinguished common pleas judge – Don Walko – and found to be correct. Now the city is appealing again,” Swartzwelder said. “This is outrageous.”

Pittsburgh police charged Kramer following a complaint filed by a motorist contending that Kramer, who was off duty, pointed a revolver at him during a road rage incident in the city’s Sheraden neighborhood.

Kramer denied the allegation, saying he had a cellphone in his hand. An Allegheny County jury last year acquitted him of a charge of simple assault and the arbitration panel in March ordered the city to reinstate Kramer with retroactive pay.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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