Smith police officer sues Washington County and Burgettstown Borough after 2009 charges

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A police officer who faced criminal charges in 2009 sued Washington County, Burgettstown Borough, a county detective and the former district attorney today for malicious prosecution.

The 27-page complaint by Derek Dayoub in U.S. District Court was a complex narrative of personal grudges in the county's law enforcement community.

According to the complaint, Officer Dayoub started working for Smith police in October 2007 and faced discrimination because of his Syrian ancestry.

In 2009 Officer Dayoub was arrested twice, charged with simple assault, official oppression and harassment, according to the complaint. Those charges were later dropped.

Then-District Attorney Steven Toprani and county Detective John M. Aaron knew that there was no probable cause to arrest Mr. Dayoub, but prosecuted anyway, according to the complaint.

Mr. Toprani told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2011 that Mr. Dayoub cooperated with a grand jury investigation into police corruption. That cooperation was one reason charges were dropped, he said then. He declined further comment today.

Washington County's solicitor could not be immediately reached for comment.

Gianni Floro, who is representing Mr. Dayoub, declined comment other than to say that the officer continues to work for Smith.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.


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