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Bribery added to charges against Apollo police chief

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, 12:14 a.m.
Former Apollo police Chief Paul Breznican
Valley News Dispatch
Former Apollo police Chief Paul Breznican

A charge of bribery is among three new offenses the state Attorney General is filing against suspended Apollo police Chief Paul Breznican.

The Attorney General's office notified Breznican's attorney, Greg Swank, of changes in the charges in a letter dated Aug. 8.

State police in July charged Breznican with offenses related to his allegedly taking and selling guns, ammunition and other property belonging to the borough and others. He has been suspended with pay since June 14. He previously was not working due to an injury.

The Attorney General's office did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Swank said he had no immediate comment.

The new charges are one count of bribery, a felony, and seven counts of misapplication of entrusted government property and one count of obstruction of the administration of law or other governmental function. The latter charges are misdemeanors.

The bribery charge stems from an alleged incident in 2006 in which Breznican is accused of confiscating a rifle and shotgun from a resident. When the man asked for the weapons back two weeks later, Breznican allegedly paid him $100.

The misapplication of government property covers items belonging to Apollo Borough that Breznican is accused of taking: Colt AR-15 and .22-cal. rifles; tear gas baton and gun; .45-cal. ammunition; a dog bite K-9 training suit; and a remote door opener.

Prosecutors charge Breznican “intentionally obstructed the administration of law or governmental functions” through his alleged unlawful acts and by failing to carry out his legal duty.

Seven counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, felony offenses, were withdrawn.

Other charges were modified. Counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and theft by receiving stolen property were reduced from nine to seven.

Counts of the charge of theft by deception are being increased from two to seven, with six counts involving firearms and one count of non-firearms.

Breznican turned himself in to state police in East Franklin on July 11. He was released from the Armstrong County Jail after posting $25,000 bond.

Prosecutors will formally move to amend the charges against Breznican at his preliminary hearing. That hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 29 before Ford City District Judge J. Gary Decomo.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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