Officer who faced charges files discrimination suit

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A police officer who faced criminal charges in 2009 has sued Washington County, Burgettstown, a county detective and the former district attorney Wednesday for malicious prosecution.

According to the 27-page complaint in U.S. District Court, Derek Dayoub started working for Smith police in October 2007 and faced discrimination because of his Syrian ancestry. He became ensnared in rivalries in the county's law enforcement community, his lawsuit said.

In 2009 Officer Dayoub was arrested twice, charged with simple assault, official oppression and harassment, according to the complaint.

Then-District Attorney Steven Toprani and county Detective John M. Aaron knew that there was no probable cause to arrest Mr. Dayoub but prosecuted anyway, according to the complaint. Those charges were later dropped. Mr. Toprani told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2011 that charges were dropped in part because Mr. Dayoub cooperated with a grand jury investigation into police corruption. He declined further comment Wednesday.

Washington County's solicitor could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.



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