Ex-Monroeville cop's plea to harassment charge dooms federal lawsuit

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A former Monroeville police officer's lawsuit against that municipality was dismissed today when a federal judge found that his no-contest plea to a harassment charge undermined his claims that his employer falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted and wrongly fired him.

Lawrence W. Storch, of Monroeville, sued last year in relation to his arrest, prosecution and firing, which followed his divorce in 2009.

He was arrested and later fired following a series of confrontations with other officers when his ex-wife called them to her house.

Although some charges against him were withdrawn, he pleaded no contest to summary harassment, which doomed his case, according to U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan.

Mr. Storch, she wrote, "ignores the fact that he pled nolo contendere to a summary harassment charge" which "has the same legal consequences as a plea of guilty and results in a conviction."

Because of that plea, the judge wrote, the court can't question Monroeville's handling of the matter.

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


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