PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The KDKA Investigators have learned some Pittsburgh police officers have threatened to stay home the day of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The more than 100 officers assigned to work that day will work. The problem is officers working off-duty on what they call “secondary employment.”
According to a memo obtained by the KDKA Investigators, more than 100 of those officers are talking about a work stoppage, blaming poor treatment by the city.
The Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the biggest in the country with thousands of marchers and more than 100,000 people watching.
“Certainly that’s probably the busiest day in the city of Pittsburgh short of a Super Bowl,” F.O.P. President Dan O’Hara said. “Traditionally, we have the most problems that day.”
An F.O.P. memo obtained by the KDKA Investigators indicates well over 100 Pittsburgh police officers are looking at a, “possible off-duty, secondary employment work stoppage to occur on St. Patrick’s Day, March 12, 2011 and possibly at future major city events. This action is being taken due to the continued treatment of our members as second class employees by the City of Pittsburgh.”
“I’m an innocent man,” Gene Hlavac said. “I’m [a] completely innocent man.”
Part of the focus of this fight is former Pittsburgh police officer Hlavac. Off the job now 14 months, arrested well over a year ago on a domestic abuse charge, Hlavac was acquitted by a judge and ordered back to work by an arbitrator and another judge.
Still, the city fights his reinstatement.
“It’s over $160,000 the city is now liable for, including back pay, benefits, interest,” Hlavac said.
Other issues include a dispute over Super Bowl security as well as the treatment of three officers off a year involved in the Jordan Miles case. He’s the Homewood man who accused three officers of beating him.
City sources don’t believe the officers will refuse the St. Patrick’s Day off-duty work and walk away from hundreds of dollars in overtime money.
Union leaders say: Don’t push us.
“In any instance, if you push people far enough they’ll do things that ordinarily they wouldn’t do,” O’Hara said.
There was no comment Tuesday from the mayor’s office or from Public Safety Director Mike Huss.
However, city sources indicate if the work stoppage happened, it could cause a major public safety problem on St. Patrick’s Day.
As a result, the city may have to assign additional officers to work that day and that would cost thousands of dollars in overtime.
Union members are scheduled to discuss the matter Thursday.