Allegheny County has suspended five jail guards without pay and is reviewing an incident in which an employee violated policy by entering the jail with her personal handgun.
A spokeswoman for the county would not say whether the suspensions were related to the weapons investigation.
The suspended employees are: Capt. Daniel Troiano Sr., a county employee since April 1986 whose salary is $72,580; Sgt. Charles K. Miller Sr., an employee since November 1995 with a salary of $71,157; Sgt. Leslie J. Fronek, an employee since April 2001 with a salary of $71,157; correctional Officer Sonja C. Nugent, a county employee since May 2005 with a salary of $41,153; and correctional Officer Nicholas D. Scott, an employee since January 2000 with a salary of $62,142.
Mr. Scott, 67, of the North Hills, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he resigned Wednesday. He declined to comment further. The other employees could not be reached.
The county is investigating an incident in which a jail employee self-reported that she had entered the jail with her personal handgun May 1, county spokeswoman Amie Downs said in an email.
All contraband items, including handguns, are prohibited in the jail, Ms. Downs said.
Employees entering the jail must first go through a "strict security protocol," she said.
"This protocol was not followed and the handgun was not discovered during that process," Ms. Downs said in the statement. "This issue was reviewed and a determination was made that the proper protocols are in place, but that employees responsible for the oversight had violated [jail] policy."
Asked whether the gun was loaded, how long after the incident the employee reported it and what reason, if any, the employee had given for bringing the gun to the jail, Ms. Downs declined further comment.
The names of the employees involved have not been released. Ms. Downs, in her email, said the county's policy is not to discuss personnel matters.
But she said that the "appropriate level of disciplinary action against all employees involved in this particular incident is currently being considered."
Jail policies and protocols are being reviewed and reinforced with employees, she said.
Warden Orlando Harper, who was invited to speak about the state and function of the jail to members of Allegheny County Council at a budget and finance committee meeting Wednesday, did not mention the incident in his remarks.
Asked about it following the meeting, he referred comment to Ms. Downs.
A phone call placed to the president of the Allegheny County Independent Prison Employees Union was not immediately returned.
Kaitlynn Riely: email@example.com or 412-263-1707. Lexi Belculfine contributed. First Published May 8, 2014 6:03 PM