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Pittsburgh officer's lawyer disputes concert chaos

Tony LaRussa
| Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007

A lawyer for one of two suspended Pittsburgh police detectives who are accused of assaulting Hanover police officers after a concert said the facts differ greatly from the accusations.

"We independently interviewed the people charged and those who were present but not (arrested) and they all told a similar story -- and it does not bear any resemblance to the criminal complaint that was filed," said Robert Del Greco, who is representing city police Detective Joseph M. Simunovic, 39, of Brookline.

He was arrested Aug. 18 after a Toby Keith concert at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, along with Detective Patrick Moffatt, 38, of Brookline; his sister, Bridget Moffatt, 31, of Coraopolis; and two other people.

Hanover police Chief James L. Geho was not available for comment Wednesday.

City police initially reassigned Moffatt and Simunovic to patrol duties, where they'd continue to draw their $55,894-a-year detective salaries. On Tuesday, they were suspended without pay.

State law prohibits officers to remain on the job if they are accused of felonies or certain misdemeanors, said Deputy Chief Maurita Bryant. The detectives are charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for yesterday was postponed because the state Attorney General's Office was asked to take over the case.

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