Fired Highmark chief finishes anger classes; charges withdrawn
The Allegheny County district attorney's office on Wednesday withdrew charges against former Highmark CEO Kenneth Melani because he successfully completed anger-management courses.
Dr. Melani, 58, of O'Hara, had been charged with assault and defiant trespass in March stemming from a fight with the husband of his girlfriend, Melissa Myler, 28, whom he had hired to work at Highmark just weeks before the affair began. The scuffle, outside the Myler home in Oakmont, exposed their relationship and sent shock waves through the insurance company, which fired Dr. Melani. The company this week selected William Winkenwerder Jr. as its president and CEO.
Prosecutors agreed to drop the charges if Dr. Melani underwent counseling, which consisted of 16 one-hour courses, his attorney, Robert Del Greco, said. He presented documentation of the treatment to District Judge Linda Zucco Wednesday morning. The district attorney's office declined to comment.
Dr. Melani at first wanted to fight the charges but opted not to at the urging of his attorney.
"He sought the counsel of a well-respected and experienced individual," Mr. Del Greco said. "He is delighted to have this favorable outcome."
With the criminal case behind him, Dr. Melani will "aggressively" seek employment elsewhere, Mr. Del Greco said. He is also focused on maintaining contact with his wife and grown children.
Court records show Mark and Melissa Myler have begun divorce proceedings. Her attorney said she remains employed by Highmark.
As for Dr. Melani's relationship with her, Mr. Del Greco said only, "It's a bit of a complicated situation. He still has a relationship with her; the exact way to describe it, I am not sure."
First Published June 7, 2012 12:00 am