State Rep. Preston charged with assault

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State Rep. Joseph Preston has been accused of assaulting a woman during a confrontation at his office, city police said yesterday.

Zone 5 Cmdr. RaShall Brackney said Mr. Preston was working in his district office in the 6200 block of Penn Avenue in East Liberty at about 8 p.m. Sunday when a former girlfriend arrived and confronted him.

Cmdr. Brackney said the woman was unhappy about Mr. Preston's intention of ending their relationship, which had been ongoing for about a year.

Police were summoned after Mr. Preston escorted the woman from the office. When they arrived, she had a minor injury to her arm that Cmdr. Brackney described as "redness."

Cmdr. Brackney said Mr. Preston was cooperative with officers. He was taken to Night Court for processing.

According to court records, Mr. Preston, 60, was charged with one count of simple assault. He was arraigned early yesterday and released on his own recognizance.

Mr. Preston has served in the state House since 1983 and is chairman of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board. According to his official Web site, he is married with two children.

Court records indicate that Mr. Preston's wife, Odelfa, filed for divorce in 2003. There has been no activity in the case for the past three years, according to the records.

Mr. Preston could not be reached for comment last night.

Moustafa Ayad can be reached at or 412-263-1731.


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