A fired Pittsburgh police officer awaiting trial on charges that he offered women legal assistance in exchange for sexual acts said Monday he had no idea his colleagues were building a case against him and was stunned when they showed up at his house to arrest him.
Adam Skweres, 34, formerly a patrol officer out of the city's Zone 3 station in Allentown, said he wants his job back if he is acquitted of more than two dozen counts of crimes including bribery, official oppression, coercion, indecent assault and drug possession stemming from four cases.
In his first comments to reporters since his Feb. 16 arrest, Mr. Skweres said he is innocent of the charges and is eager to go to trial.
"It's very stressful," he said, flanked by his attorneys, Phillip DiLucente and James Ecker, who barred him from answering questions about the case and sometimes answered other questions for him. Mr. Skweres remains on house arrest with electronic monitoring at his Lincoln Place home. "My whole life has been turned upside down. My career has been taken away from me."
Mr. DiLucente touted Mr. Skweres' background as a former Army reservist who served in Iraq and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. Mr. Skweres said he longed to be a police officer because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a former major at the Allegheny County Jail. He maintains his goal of one day being a city homicide detective.
Mr. Skweres, a five-year veteran, failed in his first attempt to join the city's police academy after a psychologist deemed him unfit for police work. He appealed to the civil service commission, which eventually earned him a spot in the next class. Mr. Skweres said that the city never told him why he did not pass the first test.
The women's accusations began in the summer of 2008, when Mr. Skweres had been on the job only about 18 months.
After two similar complaints, a fourth woman said he came to her house in February and forced her to perform a sex act on him, asking her if she was wearing a wire and acting strangely, writing notes and demands on paper.
The women's testimony at a preliminary hearing earlier this month was "unreliable," said Mr. DiLucente, adding that he believes the women want to file civil lawsuits against the city. He requested from prosecutors wiretap evidence in the case but has yet to see it.
Police officials have said they were monitoring Mr. Skweres on the job but couldn't move him off the street because they lacked enough evidence until the most recent accusation.
When a team of officers went to his home to arrest him "I was shell-shocked, I had no idea what was going on," he said.
As he awaits trial, he said he is grateful for the support of fellow officers and his family.
Sadie Gurman: email@example.com or 412-263-1878. First Published March 13, 2012 4:00 AM