Sheriff: no proof of misconduct by Steelers security boss

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jack Kearney serves many roles in his part-time job as chief of security for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The boss at his full-time job at the Allegheny County Sheriff's Dept. says cleaning up for players who run in to legal trouble is not one of them.

Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen dismissed an ESPN report (http://es.pn/1y3VLk9) that suggested Kearney has used his influence to assist Steelers when they run afoul of the law.

The report, published Thursday, suggested Kearney - who is a lieutenant in charge of the fugitive squad - helped tackle Mike Adams put together a story for authorities following a late-night incident in a popular bar area in 2013 that left Adams with multiple stab wounds.

Mullen called the accusations ''just not true,'' saying Kearney has been a ''model employee.''

Kearney has moonlighted as the team's chief of security since 2001. While the job typically requires Kearney to go over the suggested 30-hour maximum for deputies who take on second careers, Mullen said it has never prevented Kearney from fulfilling his duties with the sheriff's department. Mullen said the risk of a conflict of interest is no higher than with most other secondary jobs held by sheriff's office employees.

Mullen described Kearney's role with the Steelers as a ''babysitter'' or ''traveling secretary.'' The report said Kearney fast tracks gun permits for players, a courtesy Mullen said the office extends for others when requested.

While Mullen said there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Kearney the office would investigate any formal complaints. The sheriff said Kearney has been the subject of only one such complaint during his time with the Steelers, when a federal marshal claimed Kearney overstepped his bounds while marshals attempted to track down a member of the team's practice squad in 2007 who was wanted for questioning in a prostitution ring.

The team said it is not aware of any gray areas between Kearney's position with the sheriff's office and his role with the organization.

''His services are provided on a part-time basis, with the majority of his time coming during the football season,'' the team said in a statement. ''We are not aware of any conflicts in regard to his time on Steelers matters, nor are we aware of any conflicts of interest.''

Mullen said there are no plans to take any sort of disciplinary action against Kearney and he will not ask Kearney to step down from his post with the team.

The report's main focus was on Kearney's involvement in incident with Adams, pointing out Kearney moved Adams' vehicle and spoke to Adams in hospital before Adams gave a second statement to authorities. Mullen said Kearney moved the truck with the permission of Pittsburgh police about 12 hours after the stabbing. Kearney apprehended one of the three men arrested in the alleged attack, which Mullen said is just an example of Kearney doing his job.

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