Trinity Area School District superintendent Paul Kasunich, accused of forcing a police car off the road while driving drunk, entered a probationary program for first-term offenders Friday and will have his record cleared if he completes it.
Appearing in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, Mr. Kasunich, 55, was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which normally lasts a year.
Ohio Township police pulled him over Feb. 2 after they said he crossed the center line on Mount Nebo Road shortly before 2 a.m. and nearly hit a police cruiser, forcing the officer to drive onto the berm.
The officer said he turned around and followed the vehicle as it drove erratically and then pulled over the driver. He said Mr. Kasunich smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and explained that he'd had a "couple drinks."
The officer said Mr. Kasunich failed a series of sobriety tests before police took him to Sewickley Valley Hospital for a blood test. His blood-alcohol level was 0.207, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit for driving.
The ARD program allows first-time offenders who complete a yearlong probationary period to have their records expunged.
Mr. Kasunich was suspended with pay after the incident and later waived a preliminary hearing.
His lawyer, Robert Del Greco, said Friday he hopes the board will reinstate him now that the case is over.
This is the second time Mr. Kasunich has been suspended because of criminal charges. In November 2010, he was charged with assault following a fight with his girlfriend, Darlene Tartaglione, a principal in the Avonworth district, at the home they shared in Pine. The charge was dismissed because she didn't want to pursue it and Mr. Kasunich returned to work.
Mr. Kasunich, formerly superintendent in the Blackhawk district, was hired by Trinity in 2010.
Torsten Ove: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1510. First Published May 16, 2014 11:52 AM