11/22/2005

Pa. deputy sheriff indicted on charges of taking payoffs

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH- Allegheny County's chief deputy sheriff was arrested Monday and charged with accepting several thousand dollars' worth of payoffs from a person who wanted to establish a for-profit jail.

Dennis Skosnik, 54, became the third member of Sheriff Pete DeFazio's command staff to be indicted in an investigation of the sheriff's political fundraising. DeFazio has not been charged.

He was charged with fraud and witness tampering and could get 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Prosecutors would not identify the source of the bribes or the agency that wanted to establish the privately run jail.

A former sheriff's captain was convicted in September of lying to the grand jury. A lieutenant commander is awaiting trial on similar charges.

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