Local solicitor alleges district attorney uses office to charge political opponents with crimes

WAYNESBURG, Pa. — In a 28-page complaint filed with the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, the Greene County solicitor said the county district attorney is guilty of “official oppression.”

He said the DA has a history of using his office to charge his political opponents with crimes.

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In the complaint, Robert Eugene Grimm said as Greene County solicitor, he was involved in several investigations into District Attorney David Russo’s alleged criminal acts and misbehavior.

Those investigations include the arrest of several county 911 employees on “felony process” crimes without probable cause, his creation of a SWAT team without proper credentials, insurance, equipment, and training, his prosecution of a former county detective despite a direct conflict of interest, the alleged firing of an assistant prosecutor because of their age, and more.

Because of this, Grimm said he lived in fear of being arrested by the Greene County detectives — at the direction of district attorney David Russo — for more than 18 months.

He said his fear came true on April 4, 2023.

That’s when Grimm was charged with 16 misdemeanor charges. Those charges stemmed from complaints by several Republican candidates over how Greene County’s election office picked the order of candidate names on the upcoming primary election ballot.

They first did that on March 15, but it was tossed out because they did not publish the date in two local newspapers.

They did the selection again about a week later.

Several candidates protested that selection, including Russo, and refused to draw a number when called. Allegedly, a decision was made to put those candidates on the bottom of the ballot.

That’s where Russo’s name is on Tuesday’s Republican primary ballot for his re-election bid.

The case was turned over to the state attorney general’s office, which announced Wednesday that all of the charges against Grimm were withdrawn after their own investigation.

Grimm initially resigned as Greene County solicitor when charges were filed.

The complaint from Grimm outlines other allegations of misconduct as well.

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