Mayor stands by firing of acquitted policeman

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Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this morning said he stands by the firing of former city police Sgt. Eugene Hlavac, even though Mr. Hlavac was found not guilty Tuesday of assaulting his former girlfriend -- and partially dislocating her jaw -- while in uniform.

Mr. Hlavac was fired after the December incident under the city's "zero-tolerance" policy for domestic violence by police officers.

Mr. Ravenstahl today said he'd fight any effort by Mr. Hlavac to regain his job, noting the city's burden of proof in arbitration is lower than a prosecutor's burden in a criminal case.

"We think we have a strong case. We think our decision was the proper one, and we intend to vigorously pursue that through the arbitration process," he said.

The verdict doesn't mean no wrong was done or that there won't be consequences, Mr. Ravenstahl said.

Joe Smydo: or 412-263-1548.


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