Pittsburgh public works employee pleads guilty to attempted theft
A Pittsburgh Department of Public Works carpenter charged with stealing jewelry and coins from a house he was assigned to board up in 2018 pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted theft.
John C. Minard, 42, of of Brookline was sentenced to probation.
Minard waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge. He declined comment after leaving the courtroom.
Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, said Minard would be suspended five days, pending termination.
“Minard will be asked to provide an explanation of his guilty plea, and (DPW Director Mike) Gable will decide whether to fire him based on Minard’s response and feedback from the worker’s supervisors and foremen,” McNulty said.
Minard was part of a city board-up crew assigned to secure vacant homes when he went with another employee in April 2018 to a house owned by Francis Monaghan on Brookline Boulevard. Monaghan, 53, of Baldwin, said the house was unoccupied at the time and erroneously reported as vacant.
Police said Minard broke through the front door and stole gold chains and other jewelry worth about $7,399. He attempted to steal about $150 in coins.
“I got a phone call from someone riding the bus at 8 o’clock in the morning that someone was inside my house,” Monaghan said. “I got there at like 9 o’clock, and he was still in my house. I physically saw him take money from inside my house and take it to the curb to put it near the truck.”
He said he confronted Minard, who then returned the coins.
“Both my jewelry boxes were empty,” Monaghan said. “They say we can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the jewelry’s missing, but believe me when I tell you the jewelry was missing.”
The city already suspended Minard for an unspecified period last year following the incident, but he eventually returned to work, according to the Mayor’s Office. The city hired him in 2017.
“It’s just a shocking thing for a city employee to do this,” Monaghan said. “I never thought that city employees would break into my house. Never.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .