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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

[PA] FRUITFUL OUTRAGE over promoting Pittsburgh cops with domestic violence-related histories


...Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he knew of the well-publicized accusation that freshly minted Cmdr. George Trosky broke his then-wife's nose in 1997... He said he did not know prior to the promotion ceremony that new Lt. Charles Rodriguez faced a pending criminal case in Ingram, where police charged him with simple assault for an April incident with his daughter. Nor was he aware, he said, that police responded to now-Sgt. Eugene F. Hlavac's home in relation to arguments with his girlfriend... he is considering adopting a model touted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as adding some of his own restrictions and procedures... Chief Harper on two occasions had expressed interest in formulating a "zero tolerance" policy in regard to police officers involved in domestic abuse incidents...

TWO VIDEOS:
6/22/2007 - http://www.youtube.com/v/7qtGvfLrh7Y
6/26/2007 - http://www.youtube.com/v/RJ8ZaySkUHM

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Promoted to Sergeant, Eugene F. Hlavac has been visited by police at his home for domestic arguing... He has received disciplinary action reports over several incidents during the past several years. Last year, he was written up for being insubordinate, and in-house is reported to "anger issues."
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Newly promoted Lt. Charles Rodriguez
has a case of "simple assault" still unresolved. His daughter said he slapped her head several times and punched her in the stomach. Hospital records show her head was bruised...
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Cmdr. George Trosky allegedly broke his then-wife's nose in 1997 by HEADBUTTING HER FACE. Charges were dropped because she did not show up in court...
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Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly: In a letter to reporters - "The last three promotions have raised concerns to a number of women's groups in the Pittsburgh area because of allegations of domestic abuse. However, Mr. [Mayor] Ravenstahl will not even address the concerns of these women."


EXCERPTS FROM RECENT ARTICLES:


Police Promotions Upset Domestic Violence Groups
KDKA
Jun 22, 2007 10:41 pm US/Eastern
Groups that represent victims of domestic violence are outraged that three Pittsburgh Police officers, who have incidents of battering on their records, were given promotions... But police officials say the promotions aren't about that. "The chief made these decisions based on work record and the character of the officers involved," Deputy Pittsburgh Police Chief Paul Donaldson said...

Controversy Over Police Promotions Grows
THEPITTSBURGHCHANNEL.COM
June 25, 2007
...Now the National Organization for Women is calling for action... Activists have successfully petitioned for a a special Council hearing to air concerns over the three officers. Jeanne Clark organized the petition drive to get the special Council hearing. Clark is an active local member of NOW. "Let's make sure we are promoting officers we know will be peace officers, no matter who they're working with," said Clark. "Frankly, if the women they say they love can't trust them, why should the citizens of Pittsburgh?"...

Mayor's Office Might Rescind Promotions Of Cops
KDKA
Jun 26, 2007 9:56 pm US/Eastern
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is now speaking out about last week’s controversial promotions of three city police officers... Ravenstahl says he will not tolerate domestic violence in any city department and by any city employee. He also says his office is exploring the possibility of rescinding those recent promotions... He said that he did not know that two of three promoted officers had domestic violence issues. He added that the rules for promotion of police officers must change... “I’m upset, I didn't know, and I let the Chief know that he should have communicated that to me, and he recognized that”...

NOW secures public hearing on Pittsburgh Police promotions
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Jeanne Clark, president of the Squirrel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women, said police brass haven't adequately explained why the three men were promoted... "The best they can tell us is 'trust us,' but they don't say why we should trust them"... Police spokeswoman Diane Richard and Gigi Saladna, a Ravenstahl spokeswoman, said Harper will attend the hearing to listen to NOW's concerns... Clark said she has asked domestic violence counselors, social workers and women's shelter workers to attend the public hearing...

Ravenstahl calls police promotion rules 'unacceptable'
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today said he was unaware of the allegations of domestic violence ...On June 18, Chief Nate Harper and Ravenstahl promoted Cmdr. George Trosky, Lt. Charles Rodriguez and Sgt. Eugene Hlavac... Harper and Ravenstahl will draft new polices in the next two days "so that when decisions like this are made they are made in a more comprehensive manner." That means factors such as criminal charges against a police officer and other marks on their records could be considered before a promotion is awarded... The Squirrel Hill chapter of NOW -- the National Organization for Women -- has petitioned for a public hearing on the promotions Thursday. The National Council of Jewish Women, Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania and the League of Independent Voters also will participate in the hearing. Gigi Saladna, Ravenstahl's spokeswoman, said the mayor doesn't plan to attend, but he will meet Wednesday with the Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Women's Commission, which has asked to discuss the promotions with the mayor. Harper will attend the public hearing...

Pittsburgh mayor may demote officers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl vowed Tuesday to change the way Pittsburgh promotes police officers and said he was deciding whether to demote three officers recently promoted despite allegations of domestic violence... The city's police union president criticized the mayor's reaction and said any changes to the promotion process would be challenged in court -- as would any attempt Ravenstahl makes to reverse the officers' promotions. Ravenstahl's sudden change of heart "is a sign of immaturity," said James Malloy, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1... Jeanne Clark, a member of the Squirrel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women, said Ravenstahl's attempt to fix the system that allowed the promotions is admirable, but is probably a reaction to "the bad publicity, not the bad decision. They need to be able to recognize it was a bad decision"...

Mayor vows change on police promotions
Post-Gazette
By Rich Lord and Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday promised a fast-track overhaul of the police procedures that allowed for promotion of men accused of domestic abuse, addressing concerns of women's groups but risking a run-in with the police union... Any reversal, or change in procedure, would prompt the Fraternal Order of Police to "file every kind of an action I could to stop him from tampering with state civil service law," said union President James Malloy... The women's commission chairwoman, Cynthia McCormick, is also a member of the city Civil Service Commission. In January, hers was the lone vote on the three-member civil service panel against a rule change allowing detectives to become commanders, clearing the way for Cmdr. Trosky's promotion... Deputy Police Chief Paul Donaldson said Thursday that he had information he could not release that undercut the domestic abuse charges... At a review board meeting last night, Ms. Pittinger said Chief Harper on two occasions had expressed interest in formulating a "zero tolerance" policy in regard to police officers involved in domestic abuse incidents. She said he is considering adopting a model touted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as adding some of his own restrictions and procedures. Ms. Pittinger also said the chief was interested in ensuring the policy had "checks and balances" in place to mete out appropriate punishment for offending officers as well as specific rules for promotions that would bar candidates with domestic violence histories from advancing...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety history teflon pennsylvania state]

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