GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli has filed a lawsuit to remove two police chiefs from their posts.
Depending on where you are in the state of Pennsylvania, police officers can play an important role in administering justice.
“We have small justice system powers from the judge level,” said Kevin O’Donnell with the Westmoreland County Courts Association.
In fact, permanent duties involved guarding polling places, serving court orders, providing courtroom security, and transporting prisoners. They also have statutory powers of arrest.
But this week, Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli filed a lawsuit to remove New Kensington police officer Dan Goodson for allegedly having a previous felony conviction.
“There are background checks conducted by county detectives in the county you were elected to,” says O’Donnell.
Ziccarelli released a statement on the lawsuits, in part saying: “As with previous matters handled by this office, these investigations are motivated by outside complaints and by detectives of the investigation district. Elected officials must meet certain requirements to hold elected office, and my office will pursue civil action against individuals who do not meet those requirements.”
Another target of Zicarelli’s lawsuit is police officer Walt Geiger, elected to serve the Arona area of Westmoreland County.
“To participate in an election in that area, you must be a resident in that area,” O’Donnell said.
Ziccarelli asserts that Geiger no longer lives in Arona but in North Huntingdon.
O’Donnell said what the district attorney is doing is uncomfortable but necessary.
“If there’s some that’s substandard and they can’t get there and they choose not to, it’s time to get rid of them,” he said.
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KDKA we have reached out to both men named in the lawsuits and both declined to comment at this time.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/03/westmoreland-county-district-attorney-lawsuits-constables/ Westmoreland County files lawsuit to remove 2 Constables – CBS Pittsburgh