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Ex-East Washington police chief could be out on bail soon

| Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

A former Washington County police chief facing federal corruption charges could be released on bail once authorities are certain his house contains no weapons, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Donald Solomon, 55, is charged with running protection for undercover FBI agents he thought were drug dealers and buying Tasers for an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer while Solomon was the East Washington police chief. The borough council fired him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar argued that Solomon should remain in the Allegheny County Jail because he threatened to kill himself rather than go to prison and threatened several people.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Marketa Sims argued the government cannot hold Solomon without bail because he might kill himself. She said he was blowing off steam when he made the threats.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti ruled prosecutors hadn't provided sufficient evidence to hold Solomon and set his bail at $50,000 unsecured. She placed him under house arrest, with electronic monitoring, and said he could leave the house with prior approval from the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services.

Mayor Mark Pacilla, who attended Solomon's detention hearing, said the judge's conditions seem adequate to protect the community.

"I'm satisfied with the restraints the judge has put on him," he said.

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