Appeals court upholds 7 state guards' suspensions
PITTSBURGH — The Commonwealth Court has reversed a labor arbitrator's decision to reinstate seven suspended guards at the state prison in Pittsburgh, four of whom are awaiting trial on charges they abused inmates serving child-sex sentences.
The court ruled three other guards who had the charged dropped or thrown out against them should still remain suspended, too.
The court found the seven guards didn't file grievances challenging their suspensions within 15 days as required by law. The court disagreed with the arbitrator who ruled a year ago that the indefinite suspensions violated a labor contract so the time limits didn't apply.
The focus of the investigation remains 60-year-old Harry Nicoletti of Coraopolis, who is scheduled for trial in January but claims charges that he raped or otherwise abused child molesters at the prison are "made up."
Exec stops paychecks to imprisoned councilman
ERIE — A northwestern Pennsylvania county executive has ordered the finance director to stop issuing paychecks to a councilman who's serving a year in federal prison for Social Security fraud.
Erie County Executive Barry Grossman tells the Erie Times News it would be a "gross insult" to taxpayers for 63-year-old Ebert Beeman to continue drawing his $8,779 annual salary when he can't attend meetings or do county business.
Beeman has refused to resign his office so the district attorney is petitioning the courts to have Beeman removed, but that could take months.
Beeman's attorney says he's not sure Grossman has the power to stop the payments while Beeman remains a "sitting councilman."
Beeman began his sentence in August for using a fraudulent Social Security number to apply for two credit cards and two jobs since 2007.
Parks director's dismissal raises questions