Judge dismisses protection-from-abuse order against Pittsburgh police commander



A judge dismissed a protection from abuse order filed against Pittsburgh police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney by a North Side after-hours club owner.

Judge Kelly Bigley dismissed the order because she said Executive Cigars LLC owner Andrew Lee, who claimed the commander threatened to destroy his business after he ended their relationship last year, showed "not one scintilla of evidence" that the two were ever romantically involved.

The commander repeatedly denied she ever had anything but a business relationship with Mr. Lee, whose establishment police labeled a trouble spot.

The petition for the PFA was filed shortly before a zoning hearing where the commander was due to testify about the legality of Mr. Lee's club.

The judge called the petition filed by Mr. Lee "offensive" and said his testimony was inconsistent with much of the evidence. She accused Mr. Lee of filing the petition as a "continuation" of his conflict with police and the commander.

Cmdr. Brackney hugged her supporters outside of the courtroom and wiped tears from her eyes. She declined comment as she left.

This afternoon, Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper released a statement saying he would consult with Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. to determine whether there criminal charges against Mr. Lee were possible. The statement called Mr. Lee's PFA petition "an abuse of the Judicial System."

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Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee. First Published May 17, 2012 4:00 PM


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