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Top Allegheny County GOP staffer suspended after being arrested in domestic violence case

The executive director of the Allegheny County Republican Committee has been suspended as a result of his arrest this past weekend on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend.

John Schnaedter, 36, of Mount Washington, faces one count of simple assault stemming from the incident, which police said occurred Saturday outside a home on Bailey Avenue.

Pittsburgh police received a call that day from a man who said he heard a woman screaming and saw “fists swinging” inside a Jeep on the street and then saw a woman lying on the sidewalk.

When police arrived, they spoke to Mr. Schnaedter’s girlfriend, who told them the two argued “over petty stuff” and he pulled her out of the car and punched her, according to a criminal complaint. She told police Mr. Schnaedter left and headed in the direction of their apartment.

Police said the woman, identified as Drusilla Woolbright, 26, had mud and snow on her arms and legs “which indicated that she was on the ground” and “a small scratch on her chin and a small bruise on her lower lip.” She declined medical treatment.

Police said the woman “repeatedly stated to officers that it was her fault that this happened” and that “she antagonized him.”

When police told her they planned to arrest Mr. Schnaedter, she “immediately became upset and uncooperative with officers,” according to the complaint.

Police took the woman to the couple’s apartment and took Mr. Schnaedter into custody without trouble. He was arraigned on Saturday and released on non-monetary bond while he awaits a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Mr. Schnaedter today referred comment to his attorney, who could not immediately be reached. Ms. Woolbright also could not be reached.

Tuesday night, D. Raja, chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County, said Mr. Schnaedter had been suspended.

“The Republican Committee of Allegheny County and I take the recent police reports involving John Schnaedter very seriously, and we have suspended Mr. Schnaedter until his Thursday court hearing when a final decision will be made,” Mr. Raja said in a news release. “We do not condone the behavior outlined in the police report, and these allegations are inconsistent with the values of our committee.”

Dave Majernik, the Republican committee’s vice chairman, said Mr. Schnaedter had been working for the committee for “a little over a year” and that Ms. Woolbright, a former office intern, helps with committee events “from time to time.”

Mr. Majernik said Mr. Schnaedter told the committee that “he wasn’t guilty of what was charged.” He said Mr. Schnaedter’s arrest was “kind of disappointing, you know, because we want to maintain a high level of professionalism and morality.”

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


First Published February 14, 2017 2:27 PM