State Rep. Pleads Guilty To Reduced Charge

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A local lawmaker has been fined $50 plus court costs for disorderly conduct after authorities dropped a charge that he smoked marijuana while tailgating last month outside a Pittsburgh Steelers game.

Police had accused State Rep. Paul Costa of passing a marijuana cigarette to another man in the Heinz Field parking lot prior to the Oct. 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Through his attorney, Costa had repeatedly denied the allegation, but in court this morning he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

Magistrate Kevin Cooper accepted the plea and fined Costa $50 dollar plus court costs, which will amount to another $137.

Costa’s attorney, Phil Dilucente, said the lawmaker accepted the plea rather than contesting the marijuana charge to avoid the time and expense of a trial.

“Considering the time and money it would cost to go to trial, it was in his best interests at this juncture just to plea guilty to the one count of disorderly conduct, which is essentially a fine of $50,” said Dilucente. “That’s what the judge ruled. It’s something local magistrates will give to people for speeding tickets instead of taking the speeding offense.”

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “By doing this, he’s not admitting that he used marijuana?”

Dilucente: “The incident occurred on Oct. 3. I’m not going to discuss that, that’s in the past. He looks forward to his future, serving his community.”

Legally that is the end of it, Costa needs merely to pay the fine and the matter is closed.

Whether he will face further political fallout because of this is an open question. However, Costa’s attorney said he has received numerous calls in support of the state representative.

  • expittsburgh

    Dilucente is an idiot. Yes, Oct 3rd is in the past. But the situation is CURRENT. Typical political statement. Nope, nothing to see here…move along please.

  • One small voice

    The Senator Dude copped a plea, left the court room and blew a J on the way back to the office. It wasn’t me Judge, just some guy that looked like me.

  • tracey

    He has ruined his career. Even if he wasn’t smoking it, he was still hanging with those that do and is guilty by association! I for one will not vote for him!

  • hojore

    he’s a democrat, and the wonderful old liberals of this region will re-elect him no matter what he does. write it down.

  • expittsburgh

    @hojore. I agree. I don’t know much about him, but assumed he was a Dem when the article didn’t tell us what his party was…guess I was right.

  • Mr Soho

    Marijuana leads to harder drugs, what next, smoking crack behind the port o potty at the Stadium. You have been warned Paul.

  • redrock100

    typical democrats. police not enforcing anything once it gets to court.

  • whiskey6

    U are wrong Tracy. Democrats vote for losers all the time.

  • dan

    When you plea to a lesser charge you have to stipulate to the facts as sated, so he admitted he did it..

  • steelcurtain75

    Yes the democrats will probably re-elect him, just like the Republicans re-elected Jane Orie. Looking forward to February when she’s led out of court in handcuffs.

  • larry

    MJ does not lead to harder drugs…Addictive personalities lead to harder drugs.
    So what if he smoked bud! If everyone smoked we wouldnt have all the freakin violence we have.
    As far as hanging someone for smoking…what kind of fascist are you?
    Next thing you know we will hang someone for dressing the wrong way or having the wrong colored skin.
    Just freakin legalize it and tax it!!!!! It will save lives and money!!!!

  • Brian Watson

    He should of got fined more just for being stupid.

  • steelcurtain75

    In other news, Republican ‘golden boy’ Tom Delay was found guilty of money laundering today. And wasn’t it an up and coming Republican in State Government that ran over a homeless guy and killed him. Never even stopped, just kept on going! He then tried to cover it up by getting his vehicle repaired and selling it.
    So you pinheads who only think Democrats are losers, need to wake up and get educated to the fact that both parties are losers!

  • NFL » State Rep. Pleads Guilty To Reduced Charge

    […] Read more on KDKA Pittsburgh […]

  • Jim P

    He is an embarrassment to his district and a poor example to the kids. He uses them to get his picture taken and sends it out in mailings, but can not man up and accept that he did something wrong and give a good example to children who see this. I know he would fail a drug test. What a shame he runs to his attorney and can’t even speak for himself. Sort of like a 5 year old. Prove your innocence and take a drug test or RESIGN. This is not about you.

  • Jim P

    Dilucnete is a liar. what a joke.

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