At the July Mount Oliver Borough swore in Melvin Pollard as its new assistant code enforcement officer.
Council President Billie Michener declined to take questions before the swearing in ceremony, preferring to wait until after Mayor James Cassidy administered the oath to Mr. Pollard.
At the time, members of the gallery questioned Ms. Michener whether the new assistant code enforcement officer had a valid driver's license and if he would be driving a borough vehicle. The council president assured the residents in attendance Mr. Pollard did have a valid driver's license and that he would be driving his personal vehicle.
She also said he wasn't going to be paid, but didn't answer when asked if he would be working for free.
Unfortunately, Ms. Michener's choice for her assistant code enforcement officer may be uniquely qualified to chase down deadbeats in the borough. According to municipal court records available on the Internet, Melvin Pollard has outstanding balances on traffic and parking violations in the city of Pittsburgh, Homestead and Baldwin.
Ms. Michener didn't request a background check on Mr. Pollard, as she did when the new borough secretary was recently hired. If she had, she would have learned her new assistant code enforcement officer was in court as recently as July 2 when he was found guilty of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Over the past several years, his violations ranged from illegally parking where prohibited by official signs and not obeying traffic-control devices, to failure to use the safety belt system and driving without a license (the charge changed from driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked) to actually driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked.
According to information gathered from Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System's web portal, Mr. Pollard was found guilty of driving without a license, the charge reduced down from driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked, and disorderly conduct in either a physical or hazardous manner in Brentwood Borough in 2010.
In 2010 he was referred to a collection agency by the city of Pittsburgh for a $75 fine on an obedience to traffic-control devices charge; a $60 fine for a failure to use a safety belt; and, a $260 fine for driving without a license (reduced down from driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked.
He still has a past due balance of $51.50 for illegally parking where official signs prohibit in the city of Pittsburgh from 2010.
Mr. Pollard has another hearing scheduled on August 21 in Magisterial District Judge Thomas R. Torkowsky's court from charges of driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked and driving without a valid inspection in Homestead Borough on February 12 of this year.
As recently as August 8, Mr. Pollard missed making a payment of $318 in Magisterial District Judge John N. Bova's courtroom for a fine for the same charge of driving while his operating privileges were suspended or revoked and driving without a valid inspection on March 11 of this year in Baldwin Borough.
According to court officials, when a driver in Pennsylvania is found guilty of driving with a suspended or revoked license, they lose their license for an additional year.
On July 16 The South Pittsburgh Reporter, under Pennsylvania's Open Records law, requested a copy of Mr. Pollard's resume that was submitted to the borough, his application for the position he was hired for, the job description of the position he was hired for and how much he would be paid.
The borough sent back a reply saying the solicitor needs an additional 30 days to study the request. As of deadline for this week's edition, the requested materials haven't been received yet.