Former county councilman to be tried on theft charges

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Criminal charges against a former Allegheny County councilman will go forward after state Superior Court issued a decision Thursday.

Charles P. McCullough challenged a decision by Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen for failing to dismiss the criminal charges against him.

Mr. McCullough, 59, of Upper St. Clair was charged in 2009 with stealing more than $200,000 from an elderly woman for whom he served as a trustee and had power of attorney.

Mr. McCullough’s defense attorney, Jon Pushinsky, argued to the state Superior Court in October that the charges against his client are prohibited because a court of equal jurisdiction, Allegheny County Orphans Court, approved the expenditures from the woman’s account.

But the district attorney’s office argued — and the Superior Court agreed — that it was not a party to the proceedings in orphans court and that criminal matters are not handled there.

The case, which has been postponed at least eight times, was sent by the appellate court back to Judge Machen and will be scheduled for trial.

Mr. McCullough’s sister, Kathleen, is also charged and joined in the appeal.


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