Officer charged with fraud placed on paid leave

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A Pittsburgh police officer charged with insurance fraud and other crimes in connection with a collision last year has been placed on paid leave pending further disciplinary action, police officials said Tuesday.

The Allegheny County district attorney's office on Friday charged Officer Garrett Brown, 40, with theft and filing a false police report. Officer Brown lied to investigators when he told them that a U-Haul van rear-ended his personal vehicle, Detective Fred Young wrote in a criminal complaint.

Officer Brown filed an insurance claim after the Nov. 18 incident and was paid more than $2,137 for damages to his pickup and $445 for a rental car.

U-Haul driver Blaine Johnston, 58, who was delivering doughnuts, and his passenger, Matthew Mazzie, told Detective Young that they were "intentionally struck" by Officer Brown.

The incident became the subject of a city investigation that sustained allegations of conduct unbecoming, truthfulness, police ethics violations and incompetency against the officer, who was off-duty at the time.


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