Ex-narcotics investigator for Allegheny County DA's office amends lawsuit over firing

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A former narcotics detective for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office filed court documents today claiming that he was fired because of his age, opposition to policies and contributions to suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's campaign fund.

Tony Hildebrand, who was a narcotics detective with the city of Pittsburgh prior to joining the district attorney's office in 2005, wrote in an amended complaint that his supervisors had a policy of trying to push out older employees.

He was called "old man" and derided for a lack of computer skills, according to the complaint filed by attorney Marjorie E. Crist.

Mr. Hildebrand, according to the complaint, told supervisors about another detective's history of legal problems and argued that the office was artificially inflating case statistics to secure more state funding.

He was then transferred from narcotics to general investigations and given the use of what supervisors called "an old car for an old man," according to the complaint.

He was also criticized internally, according to the complaint, for his and his wife's contributions to Ms. Melvin's campaign fund. Ms. Melvin was then a subject of investigation and now faces charges related to use of state resources in her campaigns.

Mr. Hildebrand was fired in May 2011, according to the complaint, after he was accused of taking his staff car to a Steelers game and lying about it.

"These issues have been litigated on a number of levels, and having received no relief during that litigation, he's perfectly within his rights to appeal," said Mike Manko, the spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

The complaint against the county and Mr. Zappala's office said that Mr. Hildebrand suffered from age discrimination, deserved whistleblower protection, and wants compensation.

Mr. Hildebrand's complaint was originally filed in August, but U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab recently dismissed portions of it.

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


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