Beth Pittinger of the Citizen Police Review Board.
By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Citizen Police Review Board on Tuesday approved a general investigation into the process of pay for suspended police officers and how pay enhancements are determined, its executive director said.
Beth Pittinger said that Pittsburgh Sgt. Stephen Matakovich, in addition to his base salary, is being paid for court time as well as secondary details.
“I think it’s fair for an employee to be paid the base salary during the time in which a disciplinary action is in process,” said Ms. Pittinger. “I don’t understand why court time and secondary employment time would be added to that. I don’t think it’s reasonable that we would be paying someone for a privilege. It’s not part of their job and we’re going to pay them anyway? Why?”
Sgt. Matakovich is accused of punching an intoxicated man during the WPIAL playoffs at Heinz Field in November. He was charged with simple assault and official oppression but had those charges dropped at a Feb. 1 preliminary hearing. The district attorney’s office has said it plans to refile charges.
The sergeant was also fired by Chief Cameron McLay but appealed that decision, which is now in the hands of the city’s new public safety director.
The review board wants to understand the process of pay enhancements for suspended employees and whether that process applies to all employees or only to police officers, Ms. Pittinger said.
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