Second Dormont Police Officer Sues Borough

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that patrolman James Burke has sued the borough.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday that Dormont patrolman James Burke has sued the borough.

Burke, who has been on the force since 1987, was promoted to sergeant in 2000 but was demoted to patrolman in June following a dispute with borough administrators.

According to the Post-Gazette article, Burke filed the suit in order to be reinstated to his post as sergeant and seeks compensation totaling about $1 million for damages.

dormonter December 13, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Ya Eileen, I think the current (and blessedly over soon) council majority and the manager take the "mountains of gold" thing literally. And they are mining it and spreading it around to the chosen few. Not the employees. The employees are merely in the way in my humble opinion.
MSgt. John DeLallo December 13, 2011 at 02:08 PM
I'll stand with Sergeant James Burke anywhere, anytime, including in a courtroom to attest and affirm his character, dedication to duty, and long standing service to his community. As a former resident of Dormont, with teenage boys, Jim and I had many opportunities to converse. His resiliency, patience, community oriented police attitude, and other stellar attributes are noteworthy. His persecution by the current Boro Manager and certain spineless members of council is equally as remarkable. I'm hopeful that he is successful in this endeavor, and that at least some personal pecuniary liability falls on council and the boro manager.
Lorenzo December 13, 2011 at 02:27 PM
The Dirtmont saga just keeps on getting better by the day. To think current council created this mess. Sad state of affairs here.
AiXeLsyD13 December 13, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I'm sure Sergeant Burke is a great guy. The mayor seems to be the one peeing in the face of progress here, at least according to all the junk mail what I get. I'd just like a clear, objective timeline.
AiXeLsyD13 December 13, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Thanks Erin. This whole thing just seems like a goofy embarrassing circus. Can't the city government just let the cops do their job, while focusing on helping area businesses & residents?
Julie Overand December 13, 2011 at 05:46 PM
The operative word being "junk mail"
Lee December 13, 2011 at 09:07 PM
No you are wrong, the council did not tell patrolman burke to issue the ticket or citation - he did that out of spite toward the borough manager. He was demoted for the right reasons. There were no problems with the council members/borough manager until the minimum overtime was enforced. It is retaliation pure and simple. Go back and read up!! It is people like you that is in a sad state of denial.
Lou Pietosi December 14, 2011 at 03:04 AM
WHO believes ANY JUNK mail? This is a shame and it keeps getting worse. I have no problem with Officer Burke suing BUT a million dollars compensatory damages? WOW! And I wonder if council factored the enormous legal costs when "attempting" to save money by limiting the overtime??? Many many questions and no answers. I'm still chuckling that a simple parking ticket to the Boro Mgr turned into a nightmare. Paying the ticket MIGHT have been the easiest way out but nothing seems to be easy in my old hometwon these days!
AiXeLsyD13 December 14, 2011 at 03:19 AM
I see we have a hard time picking up on sarcasm on the internet.
Lorenzo December 14, 2011 at 03:24 AM
Ok it's simple. Rizza was indeed parked where he should not of been and he got a ticket. This is factual as it can be. Burke wrote the ticket because he dared do his job. I commend Burke for that action. Rizza deserved the ticket, and he should pay the ticket and Burke should not of been demoted ! Now how is this factual information so complicated ? Lee, Burke cought Rizza and he deserved a ticket, why should Rizza receive special privledges ? I say 100 bonus points for Burke.........too bad so sad Gino !
AiXeLsyD13 December 14, 2011 at 03:34 AM
@ <b>Lee & Lorenzo</b>... it also seems to date back to before the ticket/citation, to budget cuts or constraints on the police from Rizza & the counsel.
AiXeLsyD13 December 14, 2011 at 03:37 AM
...or maybe just scrutiny.
AiXeLsyD13 December 14, 2011 at 03:39 AM
...and I believe the $15 parking ticket ways paid, but the manager contested the legality of a trespassing citation within the borough building. They're all wasting money trying to prove who has the most power & the biggest pee-pee. It would be rather amusing if it wasn't our city's government.
Lou Pietosi December 14, 2011 at 07:54 AM
If the ticket was paid I stand corrected but the ensuing argument just made things worse. I think both sides could have handled things better. Perhaps NOW, with the new year upon us ALL sides need to start anew, for the benefit of Dormont residents. That IS after all the reason ALL of them have a job to begin with!
Daniele Ventresca December 14, 2011 at 08:19 AM
I can see suing to get your old job back and asking for back pay (if you win). But $1,000,000 in damages?!! That is beyond ridiculous.
Lee December 14, 2011 at 12:29 PM
From the readings, the Borough Manager did pay the ticket. It cost the borough manager $15.00, it cost patrolman burke a lot more, like his title and his integrity. Has anyone asked why he was sitting at the station chatting with another officer instead of out patrolling Dormont streets? An officer of the law is supposed to represent something bigger than his childish behavior - in my eyes he should have been fired.
dormont backdoor December 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM
I read in the PPG that the borough manager asked this officer to change a police report. If this is true then the manager should have been fired. I see retaliation written all over as there appears to be a pattern here. The entire situation has been handled badly from the beginning. Manager supporters on council allowed this to happen. I do not see this officer getting a million dollars in damages but he will get something. Residents need to ask and demand accountability. The residents deserve it along with more transparency.
Suz December 14, 2011 at 01:36 PM
I agree. In my opinion this is fall out from an out of control manager and a council that refused to do anything about it. What I don't understand is why now? Why didn't he do this right after it happpened? Ross appealed through civil service but I don't remember hearing that this officer did this, did he, if not then why, and can he get his position back without doing so? I believe he was wronged but this just leaves more questions than answers and seems to circumvent the system and put the new council in a very akward position. More legal fees or settle out of court, compromise and give his his job back. I don't know but I think one thing is clear, things have been handled very poorly by the borough which has opened up many legal issues.
Lorenzo December 14, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Gino may of paid the ticket but he walked into the police station demanding it be taken care of. Burke was demoted, for ehat ? Doing his job ? Because in doing so it effected Master Gino ? Give me a break ! And this so called chatting on police time, I want to know who witnesses it, when it happened, and how does said witness know the discussion was not invloving police matters ? To me this is all bogus stuff made up to discredit the police dept ! Show me the facts !
Lorenzo December 14, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Sorry for typos, just woke up, still groggy !
Lee December 14, 2011 at 03:05 PM
The borough manager did NOT demand anything - he had his money in his hand and paid the ticket - he was then issued a citation for using the "wrong door" when in fact he was allowed to use the door he walked through - the citation was bogus that is why he was demoted to patrolman. Why was the officer in the building when he should have been out doing what he was paid by me to do in the first place. I don't want the officers sitting in the borough building policing the Municipal Parking Lot, seriously, I want them out in the field working. No need to discredit the dormont police department, their actions speak for themselves.
Born & Raised in Dormont December 14, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Lee, Not long ago something was posted questioning if Lee was really Gino? Seems you just let the cat out of the bag. "Why was the officer in the building when he should have been out doing what he was paid by me to do in the first place". If you are not Gino then who else would be paying them?
Born & Raised in Dormont December 14, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Lee, How could Officer Burke of been sitting at the station chatting if he was writing you a ticket and a citation sounds to me like he was doing his job?
Lee December 14, 2011 at 06:19 PM
"Me", meaning a Dormont taxpayer. Your accusations about my identity are incorrect. No matter who I am, it is not going to change the fact that the officer was in the "wrong".
Jeff December 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Yes, it was me with the Gino suspicions. My comment was conveniently removed by the Patch Police. Hey Lee, what rhymes with Dino????????????
Born & Raised in Dormont December 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Lee, your entitled to your opinion that the office was in the wrong but if you did something that was wrong (which you did because you payed the ticket) and he was doing his job by writing you the ticket and citation then whats your point? I pay taxes in the boro also but I would never say "Why was the officer in the building when he should have been out doing what he was paid by me to do in the first place" Jeff I agree what rhymes with Dino????????????????????
Lorenzo December 15, 2011 at 04:52 AM
Ed M December 15, 2011 at 12:48 PM
My did you park in a handicap spot in the 1st place, Lee? You know full well that is illegal. Great example you are setting.
David Fabus December 15, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Coward-LEE I thought we got rid of you along time ago when the Patch required(for a short time) for everyone to sign in with their real name and not hide like a coward behind a fake name. Judging by your immature comments about Seargent Burke today and from day one of all this "little man syndrome" power struggle from the manager and council you have to be a teenager who is directly related to one of them. Otherwise you'd be smart enough to know that there is STILL overtime offered to officers and the same ones who always took it before are still taking it today. If Dwyer's still around ask him who answers his calls for overtime. Go to the Patch home page and type your name in and read all your comments and then tell me who is childish. Officers are in and out of the building all day long. Super Gino hasn't found a way for them to type reports while strapped in their vehicles so sometimes they have to return to the station. Occasionally they're called back in to discuss issues and don't you think since he was a Seargent on duty that he might be needed by other officers. As for Seargent Burke losing his integrity, try again. You will not find a better more loyal and dedicated officer on the force. I get comments from officers in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park and Castle Shannon as to how respected Seargent Burke is and how ridiculous the people with "little man syndrome" in Dormont are being.
David Fabus December 15, 2011 at 03:27 PM
As for the citation Seargent Burke wrote that got him demoted. Do you LEE, if you really are an adult think that a veteran well respected officer with over 15 years of dedicated service with no blemishes on his record desreves to be fired for doing what he thinks was his job. Honestly, take yourself out of the equation because of your relationship with someone on council or management and answer that honestly. If the area Super Gino walked through had your child being questioned or there were files from someones criminal record laying there would you want Super Gino reprimanded or fired because of it?? Seargent Burke was "doing his Job" as he has done so perfectly for over 15 years and deserved to be treated with more respect than this group with their vendettas has done. They went after the Fire Department and LOST, went after Chief Ross and LOST once already and will lose 2 more times with him before losing their butts to Seargent Burke. After January you'll have lots of time to spend with your relatives. By the way how did the election go in November. Last time I checked 4 people were voted out or resigned with 2 more to go. Enjoy your Christmas!


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