Detective sues DA's office over firing in 2011

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A former detective for the Allegheny County district attorney's office filed court documents Thursday claiming that he was fired because of his age, opposition to policies and contributions to state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's campaign.

Tony Hildebrand, 62, of Moon, was a narcotics detective with the city of Pittsburgh prior to joining the district attorney's office in 2005. He said in an amended complaint that his supervisors sought to push out older employees.

Mr. Hildebrand, the complaint said, told supervisors about another detective's history of legal problems, and argued that the office was artificially inflating case statistics to secure more state funding. He was then transferred from narcotics to general investigations, it said.

He was also criticized, it said, for his and his wife's contributions to Justice Melvin's campaign. Justice Melvin faces charges related to alleged use of state resources in her campaigns.

Mr. Hildebrand was fired in May 2011, the complaint said, after he was accused of taking his staff car to a Steelers game and lying about it.

"These issues have been litigated on a number of levels, and having received no relief during that litigation, he's perfectly within his rights to appeal," said Mike Manko, the spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

The complaint against the county and Mr. Zappala's office said that Mr. Hildebrand suffered from age discrimination, deserved whistleblower protection and wants compensation.

Mr. Hildebrand's complaint was filed in August, but U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab recently dismissed parts of it.

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