Moonlighting Outside Fayette County
Someone, please, make a note to the new governor that it is imperative that he puts back on the
table the plans for the state prison in Fayette. We are really going to need it built quickly, too,
just to house all the state constables moonlighting for a fee in uniform.
That police arrested a beloved area constable across county lines for repossessing cars in uniform
was a jolt and a half. "Some Westmoreland cop must really have a bug up his ass for twisting it all
into formal charges of bribery and official oppression," seemed to be the bulk of the opinion
expressed. But even that arresting trooper probably should understand why so many here never
realized the law. How would we have known? No matter who called or dropped by today, the
subject turned to our constable in the news. "Hey, did you hear?"
No doubt now that there was an actual breach of conduct or law, since the constable admitted to
wearing his constable hat and showing his business card while repossessing those cars, was charged
and arraigned. But when ten or so people in this writer's little circle alone by noon quickly rattled
name after name of this and that constable who did this or that for a fee in uniform, it was
apparent that we on this side of the law clearly were all ignorant of the law.
That the list of constables who moonlight or have done so in uniform includes even a son of a
former county seat district magistrate, you have to wonder why none of us paying them over the
years even considered that it even is illegal -- and why the whole legal system itself had to know
and chose to ignore it.
"What can we do to help him?" seemed to be on everyone's mind today. "Can we start or
contribute to a legal defense fund?" Or "Can we demand that all the moonlighters in uniform be
charged, too? " Or "What's the statue of limitations -- since we're all looking at a long list of
names before him, dating back through decades with common practice?"
Add to the mix the number of judges, magistrates, township cops and local govenment offices,
that not only could have -- and most certainly long ago should have -- stopped the practice of
moonlighting in uniform, but actively promoted it... and it's simply staggering.
For so many area people to feel this genuinely sorry for and concerned about another person is
So, too, is the notion that so many of us likely would have died of old age never knowing that paying
a moonlighting constable in uniform is illegal or improper, had the one charged and his constable hat
been moonlighting instead only within the boundaries here of Fayette County.