SRU Council of Trustees chairman under scrutiny in Pittsburgh

Will DeShong, Editor-in-Chief
February 14, 2013

The chairman of Slippery Rock University’s Council of Trustees is part of public concerns with the Pittsburgh police.

Eric Holmes, who took over as chair this past June, held two full-time jobs from August 2007 until July 2008, working as a sergeant for the Pittsburgh Police Department while also serving as the interim head of SRU’s campus police force.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Holmes earned $67,000 as a base salary for the city police and nearly $81,000 as the director for campus safety and security at SRU during that time.

Pittsburgh city code prevents persons with paid positions in the city government from holding other paid government positions. It is unknown at this time whether Holmes technically violated the law by working with SRU, a state school.

There is, however, a 32 hours per week moonlighting limit for Pittsburgh police officers. According to the Post-Gazette, Holmes worked a 40-hour work week as interim head of campus police, a position that officially calls for availability 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in its job description.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper  and Holmes are also under scrutiny over going into a private consulting business with together with two other Pittsburgh police officers, as well as another person. Harper promoted Holmes from sergeant to commander this past August, making him the highest ranked position aside from the bureau’s five chiefs.

Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl told the Post-Gazette that Chief Harper doing business with his subordinates is unacceptable, and felt the same way about Holmes’ full-time work with Slippery Rock.

Neither Holmes nor the state system could be reached for comment. SRU administrators declined comment at the time.

Holmes is a Pittsburgh native and a 1993 graduate of Slippery Rock University.

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