DORMONT (KDKA) — The police chief and borough manager in Dormont are accusing the mayor of ticket fixing.
It turns out the mayor has dismissed thousands of tickets over the years and now the Allegheny County District Attorney is getting involved.
One car is familiar to folks writing parking tickets. It’s had at least 35 in one year. All of the tickets were dismissed by Dormont Mayor Thomas Lloyd when the officer was acting chief at the time.
“If the chief happened to be on borough business throughout the borough and was at a parking meter and got a citation and he got it dismissed, I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Lloyd said.
Lifetime Dormont resident John Castriota says the mayor has dismissed at least six of his tickets and he loves him for it.
“He’s such a nice guy,” he said.
Folks in Dormont with four, five, six – even 35 tickets dismissed think the mayor’s a good guy, that what he’s doing keeps folks here doing business in the community.
“I don’t know. I guess if you know the right people you get your ticket fixed,” Dormont Borough Manager Gino Rizza said.
He calls it dollars and cents and says $30,000 worth of tickets have been dismissed in a year and a half.
“That’s a police car,” Rizza said. “They’re worried about cuts and public safety – that’s a police car right there.”
Records provided by Dormont Police Chief Richard Dwyer show nearly 100,000 worth of tickets written, nearly $30,000 worth of tickets dismissed.
The chief says most of them were dismissed by the mayor.
“It just seems to just keep spiraling out of control here,” he said.
The police chief, who was recently suspended by the mayor, accused of abandoning his duties only to be reinstated by the borough manager, goes one step further with his allegations.
“Unless there’s some statutory authority for him to dismiss tags, I would think it was against the law,” Dwyer said.
The mayor is defiant and showed KDKAT-V the book where he keeps record of every ticket he dismissed – thousands over the years.
“Personally, I dismissed last year a little over $3,000 worth. Can’t buy a police car for that unless you’re buying it at Joe G’s car lot,” he said.
The mayor says he’s just doing what every mayor has done and he’s certainly not breaking the law and not giving political favors.
“No … no,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that – political favors.”
The Allegheny County District attorney’s office says Dormont has no guidelines or ordinances about who can dismiss traffic tickets and needs one.
“Failure to do so will continue to lead people to believe that tickets are being fixed by certain borough officials,” the DA said. “It’s important to note that a traffic ticket is not a criminal instrument.”