Ex-federal official pleads not guilty

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A former federal energy official charged with obstruction of justice pleaded not guilty Tuesday, and his attorney suggested that the Department of Energy probe which led to the charges is over.

Anthony Cugini, 54, of Upper St. Clair, led the National Energy Technology Laboratory in South Park until his resignation in late October. He is accused of telling others to alter computer files and provide false answers to investigators’ questions in order to “protect him” during a department probe into the lab.

The investigation dealt with Mr. Cugini’s use of industry contacts to help the Holy Family Institute to raise money toward a possible new school for underprivileged youth.

Mr. Cugini’s attorney, Jerry Johnson, indicated that he thought the probe was over, that the defendant wasn’t likely to face other charges, and that his charity work “certainly could” continue.

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