Former prosecutor charged with leaving crash scene

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A former high-profile prosecutor in the Allegheny County district attorney's office was charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Mt. Lebanon last week and will have a bail hearing today.

W. Christopher Conrad, 63, of Mt. Lebanon, is also charged with driving on a suspended license and failing to have an ignition interlock device in his car. He is on probation for failing to have the device and will have a hearing on his bail status this morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Conrad was driving on North Meadowcroft Avenue about 10 a.m. June 19, when he backed into another vehicle.

A man driving a Toyota Camry told police that he was traveling north on the road when he saw a silver Ford Explorer attempting to turn left onto Parker Drive. The vehicle could not swing the turn and began to back up. The person in the Camry said he beeped at the SUV to alert the driver he was there.

"The Explorer stopped momentarily then accelerated in reverse, crashing into his vehicle before it sped off," the report said.

The witness gave the police a license plate number, and officers were able to track the registration to Mr. Conrad.

"Conrad denied driving the vehicle and stated that a client had the vehicle," the report said. He refused to provide the name of the client and told officers there was no ignition interlock device on his car because his license was suspended.

Mr. Conrad said Wednesday evening he had not received a summons or the criminal complaint. He did confirm he was notified of the bail hearing.

"I was not driving the vehicle," he said. "I didn't have the vehicle that day at all."

Mr. Conrad, who left the district attorney's office in 1998 and was once head of the homicide unit, has had a number of alcohol-related charges filed against him in recent years.

He pleaded guilty to DUI on Oct. 9, 2008, and was ordered to serve two years' probation. In April 2011, he pleaded guilty to driving without an interlock device and was sentenced to six months' probation.

He was arrested for DUI in May 2011, and again on June 13 that year, both in Mt. Lebanon. He was arrested Dec. 16 in Mt. Lebanon also for failing to have an interlock device. All three cases are pending in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, including the two DUIs scheduled for a nonjury trial before Judge David R. Cashman Aug. 28.


First Published June 28, 2012 12:15 AM


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