What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 28, 2007

Geez, The Admiral is Fast.

Rich Lord's piece on the $200 grand settlement:
The federal lawsuit was filed by Deven W. Werling of Largo, Fla., who said he was roughed up by Sgt. Mark A. Eggleton at the Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland in 2004. The city's Office of Municipal Investigations found that Sgt. Eggleton contradicted himself under oath, and he was fired.

Presumably the P-G posted it on the web sometime around midnight. According to the time stamp on his blog, The Admiral had this posted about an hour later.

His initial posting on the event in question is here.

There is one paragraph of Lord's piece that screams out to be reprinted here. Here's the set up. There was a fight at the Original Hot Dog stand in late August, 2004. Werling and a couple of friends were there but not involved in the fight. Two officers, being paid "under the table" were doing security work for the O cleared the area with a lot of pepper spray. Werling made some comments that got back to Sgt Eggleton. He approached Mr Werling (after the fight had been cleared) and the two had a few words. Eggleton ordered Werling to leave the O and Werling refused. And (according to The Admiral) this happened:

Sgt. Eggleton swept the food off of Mr. Werling's table, and then, according to an expert witness who worked on the case, "… pulled him out of his seat, threw him against a window, thrust a baton across his throat until he almost passed out, threw him against a cooler, and punched him in the mid-section".
This lead to an arrest outside etc etc etc. The City found that Eggleton had lied under oath and fired him. Rich Lord:
In October, the dismissal was reduced to a five-day suspension by then-Operations Director Dennis Regan. Mr. Eggleton continues to work as a sergeant.
Dennis Regan. And so Sgt Eggleton, after working under the table (and thus paying no taxes on that money), assaults someone who wasn't committing a crime, and lies about it in a court of law (Lord wrote "contradicted himself under oath"), and gets fired for it, he's the guy who gets reinstated by the same guy who was pulling strings to get his girlfriend's brother a promotion.

So Regan's at the heart of the McNeilly case (with a possible settlement costing the city something around $85,000) and he's at least attached to this case (with a possible settlement costing the city $200,000). Looks like Mayor Luke's abortive choice of Public Safety Director is going to cost The City of Pittsburgh somewhere around $300,000.

Can someone please ask Mayor Luke to confirm that Dennis Regan's sweaty paws are no where near his campaign - now that he's been exhiled from City Hall?


Richmond K. Turner said...

I would just point out that The Burgh Report was even faster. Herr Burgher got his post out at 12:09 AM. I hadn't even noticed the P-G article was up, and he already had it sliced, diced, served up on a tray, and had gone off to go get some well-deserved sleep.

The man is a blogging machine!

Rob Carr said...

You (and even more importantly, the Admiral) might need to check the facts on something: at least when I worked for the City as a paramedic, the payment for outside events was not "under the table." This kind of overtime appeared on the paycheck two weeks later with appropriate taxes taken out. Police had the same deal: uniformed officers got the events according to their bargaining unit rules and payment was made to the city who then paid the officers.

Nothing in the Post Gazette articles online indicates the payments were under the table, and in fact indicates just the opposite:

"In November, Mr. Ravenstahl shelved a plan to charge businesses $4 or $5 an hour, on top of the $38 an hour they pay the officers, for the scheduling of side jobs. The fee was supposed to cover costs including those stemming from lawsuits like the one involving Sgt. Eggleton."

Check your facts, please.

Richmond K. Turner said...

Dude, I have the court filings in the Eggleton case. The work done at the "O" that night was most certainly under the table.

Remember, this incident took place some years ago. This was well before there was any kind of plan in place for the city to control these off-duty side jobs. The "O" hired these officers. They didn't go through the city to hire them. At best, they went through one of the other police officers who has a contracting firm to provide other police officers as security guards. But the "O" didn't go through the city to hire these officers, and in 2004 there was no way that they could have done so.

No money passed through the city's payroll system. The court filings in the Eggleton case clearly and unambigiously state that the two officers were working on a cash basis that evening. From the expert witness testimony:

On August 29, 2004, Sgt. Eggleton and Officer Roberts were employed full-time as police officers with the Pittsburgh Police Department. However, at the time of the incident with Mr. Werling they were working off-duty at The O in a security capacity, but in full police uniform (including uniform shirt and trousers, hat,, badge, shoulder patches, baton, firearm, and other police accessories) and were being paid $24.00 per hour "under-the-table".

Maybe you should just ask me if you have any questions, rather than embarrasing yourself by questioning my integrity in a public venue.

Anonymous said...

Paramedics/cops = apples/oranges

Paramedics need the "portable emergency room" that is the ambulance and the medicine and equipment that go with it. The city fully monitors paramedic off-duty work - it's much easier to do this b/c the paramedics need City equipment to do their work and there simply isn't that much off-duty work to go around.

Cops have HUNDDREDS of options available to them - some are paid through the City, some are paid under the table, some get checks directly from their off-duty employer and some get checks from the cop who hired them for the job. Neither the cops nor the City disputes that cops are paid under the table for some jobs.

Bram Reichbaum said...

He didn't question your integrity, he questioned your fact-checking. Which is a reasonable thing to do when the bloggers are fellating one another over SPEED.

I thought the income those cops got had to be 1099'd, but that could be just me.

Anonymous said...

e-x-i-l-e-d is the word you want.

Smitty said...

300,000 is out of pocket money;500,000 is the money that never made it to the city's coffers because of Fluke Reganstahl's dismantling of the program.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that you only have to 1099 an individual if you pay him more than $600/yr. Also, the problem is record-keeping. Some individuals and establishments are probably more diligent than others. The bride and groom who hire a cop for their wedding reception aren't going to document anything - even if the cop doesn't have to pay taxes on his <$600 income, the city still doesn't get a cost recovery fee on these things.