A former top homicide prosecutor facing five separate mandatory jail terms for driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license instead was sentenced to probation with house arrest on Wednesday.
W. Christopher Conrad, 64, will not be required to start serving his sentence for 30 days.
Mr. Conrad, who worked in the Allegheny County district attorney's office for 20 years, was ordered to serve three years' probation, with 12 months on house arrest.
He will be permitted work release, although he has been suspended from the practice of law. The sentence was handed down by Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman following the entry of a guilty plea.
"We're reviewing the sentence and considering our options," said Mike Manko, a spokesman for the DA's office.
Mr. Conrad had been charged in four separate cases in 2011 and 2012. The counts to which he pleaded included DUI, driving on a suspended license and other traffic violations.
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey, who said he has been friends and colleagues with Mr. Conrad for more than 30 years, said his client had struggled with alcohol abuse for several years.
Mr. Conrad is facing a preliminary hearing out of Monroeville for charges of promoting prostitution, conspiracy and possessing instruments of crime on Oct. 1. Mr. Thomassey has characterized those charges as ridiculous.
On Wednesday, he asked Judge Cashman to consider his client's professional background in sentencing him. "To send him to state prison -- where he would be in population with people he sent there for life would be grossly unjust," the attorney said.
Assistant district attorney Chelsie A. Pratt said she had no sentencing recommendation but told the judge that Mr. Conrad was facing two mandatory terms of incarceration of one to two years, as well as four mandatory terms for 60 days each.
For his part, Mr. Conrad told Judge Cashman that he had been embarrassed and humiliated by having to face charges in the place he formerly worked as a prosecutor and that the experience has "destroyed a reputation I spent over 50 years developing."
"These offenses are out of character to me," he said. "My whole life has been dedicated to the criminal justice system."
Mr. Conrad told the judge he hoped to be able to resume the practice of law.
In sentencing Mr. Conrad, Judge Cashman praised the man for work he did as a prosecutor. "The fact you're pleading guilty to DUIs does not change your reputation in my eyes," he said.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.