Oct. 31--East Washington Police Chief Donald A. Solomon stood guard over what he thought were drug deals, sold Tasers to people who he believed to be criminals, orchestrated the shooting of a car, and talked with others about harming a former housemate and a borough councilman, prosecutors said today.
Chief Solomon pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in U.S. District Court this morning, and his public defender argued that he was just "a BS'er" who was "cajoled and lured into using his badge" wrongly.
But U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell found reason to order that Chief Solomon remain jailed pending trial.
"There are taped conversations about the defendant's involvement in drug conversations with defendant accepting funds for protection," said Judge Mitchell. "I find he presents a danger to himself, as well as witnesses and others in the community."
Chief Solomon, 55, was first an emergency medical technician for East Washington, then became a police officer in 1990 and rose to chief. Today he appeared in red garb of the Allegheny County Jail, where he has been since Friday. Though his indictment was not unsealed this morning, testimony at the hearing today indicted that he was charged with extortion for accepting payment to "protect" two sham drug deals set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and for selling Tasers to FBI agents who were posing as drug dealers.
Rich Lord: [email protected] or 412-263-1542.
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