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Ex-city GOP head accuses party chief

| Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006

Former Pittsburgh Republican Committee Chairman Bob Hillen is accusing Allegheny County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Glancy of demanding money in return for a political favor.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office has approved a private criminal complaint filed by Hillen, clearing it for a Municipal Court hearing March 1.

Glancy denied accusations of wrongdoing Friday. "It's totally baseless," he said.

The dispute arose after Glancy ousted Hillen from the city Republican committee's top spot for endorsing four Democrats who cross-filed as Republicans in last year's Court of Common Pleas primary election.

Hillen, 48, of Beechview, said Glancy sent him a letter dated Aug. 29 that offered to let him keep his post if he met five requirements. Hillen provided a copy of the letter to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. One of the demands was that Hillen or the city Republican committee give money it collected before the May 17 primary to Republican Joe Weinroth's mayoral campaign against the eventual winner, Democrat Bob O'Connor.

The GOP committee had raised $5,125 by charging primary candidates fees of up to $750 to be considered for its endorsement. About 20 candidates -- including judicial candidate and former Allegheny County Democratic Party Chairman Tom Flaherty -- paid the fees.

Hillen said Glancy's demand for cash in return for a political favor violates Pennsylvania's election code.

The letter also demanded an apology to county Republicans and asked Hillen not to speak to media outlets.

Hillen insisted he's still chairman of Pittsburgh's Republican committee because Glancy did not have the power to remove him.

"I'm hoping he gets punished for what he did," Hillen said. "What he did is wrong."

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