City Policeman Cleared by Judge Has Four Accusations against Him

Article excerpt

If a suspended Pittsburgh police officer cleared of criminal charges in connection with an incident in the South Side gets his job back, he may have to deal with other complaints against him.

Paul Abel, 35, an eight-year veteran of the force, was cleared by Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning this week of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and DUI charges. Police brass suspended him without pay after his June 2008 arrest for shooting a man he said punched him.

Abel said he wants his job back, and union leaders with the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 said they will fight to help him get it. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said following Abel's trial that no decision had been made yet regarding his employment.

Abel could not be reached for comment.

Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizens Police Review Board, said that prior to Abel's suspension, her office received four complaints against him.

When the board receives complaints, it can hold public hearings and make recommendations to the police chief about disciplinary measures. But the chief does not have to follow its recommendations.

One complaint involves a fight between Abel and his brother-in- law in a hallway of the Allegheny County Courthouse. …