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Duquesne to Pursue Ethics Complaints Against Former Councilman, Employees

By Cami DiBattista
The Tube City Almanac
August 18, 2018
Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne officials said they will pursue state ethics complaints against a former city manager, a former councilman and a police secretary.

Council voted unanimously this week to file the complaints against Frank Piccolino, John Gyure and Lori Achtzehn.

At council's meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Nickole Nesby alleged that Gyure, a former city councilman, removed playground equipment without authorization, while Nesby accused Achtzehn, a police department secretary who was terminated in March, with misuse of a city computer system to remove a citation.

Nesby said Piccolino, who resigned in November 2017 after more than 13 years' service with the city, is accused of negotiating three contracts on behalf of the city with his own family members. Those contracts increased the city's costs by $17,000, Nesby alleged.

Following the meeting, Piccolino declined comment. But Achtzehn, who had worked for the city under six different mayors, told a reporter the accusation was "nothing but a witch hunt."

Achtzehn said her attorney will be looking into the matter.

Reached by a reporter, Gyure said the playground equipment in question was going to be discarded, and that he arranged with former Mayor Phil Krivacek to complete work for the city in exchange for the equipment.

Gyure said he was not a city employee at the time, and added that he will hire an attorney, if necessary, to defend himself against any ethics complaint.

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer who covers municipal news from Duquesne and White Oak, along with other topics, for Tube City Almanac. She may be reached at cad316@gmail.com.

Originally published August 18, 2018.

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