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Westmoreland

Ex-Westmoreland chief deputy sheriff's friend pleads not guilty to harassing deputies

Paul Peirce
| Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, 1:57 p.m.

A friend of former Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy Patricia Fritz has pleaded not guilty to summary disorderly conduct and harassment citations filed against him for allegedly threatening a sheriff’s deputy who testified against Fritz at an October hearing.

Frederick G. Brandt, 60, of Youngwood, has asked for a summary hearing before District Judge Anthony Bompiani on citations filed by county detectives in connection with an alleged Oct. 5 incident near his South Eighth Street residence along Oak Lane in Youngwood. A hearing date has not been set, according to online court dockets. If found guilty, the complaints carry potential fines of more than $200 each.

Brandt accompanied Fritz to an Oct. 2 hearing on an unrelated harassment citation.

County Detective Nick Caesar said in the citations that sheriff’s deputies Robert Orbin, Irvin Shipley, Jesse Salandro, John Dixon and Frank Neal were on an arrest warrant detail Oct. 5 when “(Brandt) engaged in threatening and tumultuous behavior by yelling obscenities in a public place.”

Court documents said Brandt’s alleged threats were directed toward Orbin, who had testified against Fritz, 64, at her Oct. 2 summary trial. Fritz had been cited for harassment after allegedly physically confronting a union representative at the courthouse in August. Greensburg District Judge Chris Flanigan found her guilty and fined her $300. The county then fired Fritz from her $42,000 a year position. Fritz, who was the second ranking member of the sheriff’s department, has appealed the harassment conviction to Common Pleas Court.

Caesar said Brandt “threatened to fight the victim (Orbin),” during the Oct. 5 incident and yelled obscenities, which was witnessed by the other deputies.

Brandt could not be reached for comment.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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