An Ohio Township police officer who texted sexually explicit pictures and messages to a woman he had charged during a traffic stop resigned Friday.
Dominic J. DeJulio, who began working full time for the department in February 2015, turned in his resignation, according to the police chief.
“As of April 27th, Officer DeJulio has submitted his resignation from the Ohio Township Police Department effective immediately,” according to a one-line statement from police Chief Norbert Micklos.
Chief Micklos was in meetings and could not be reached for comment, his secretary said. He did not return a message.
A DUI case against Michelle Benninger, 40, of Monroeville was dropped April 26, 2018 after evidence was presented to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office that the Ohio Township officer who filed the charges, Dominic DeJulio, sent her graphic nude pictures and sexually explicit messages by text.
Mr. DeJulio sent photographs of himself naked and with an erection to Michelle Benninger, 40, of Monroeville, whom he had charged with driving under the influence during a traffic stop last summer at a sobriety checkpoint in Emsworth.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office Thursday withdrew the case against Ms. Benninger following an investigation by detectives from the office and a five-day unpaid suspension served by Mr. DeJulio that was imposed by Chief Micklos.
“I have no concerns,” the chief said Thursday. “We addressed it, and hopefully, that’s the end of it.”
John L. Sullivan Jr., the township manager, directed inquiries to Chief Micklos. On Thursday he said, “I don’t supply the discipline for the officers. … We fully support the chief’s decision.”
Thomas R. Beatty, chairman of the board of supervisors, declined comment.
Patrick Thomassey, who represented Ms. Benninger, said, “It’s unfortunate that it had to go this far. I tried to get that case dismissed a month ago and nobody wanted to talk about it.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette typically does not identify victims or alleged victims of sexual assault or abuse, but Ms. Benninger gave permission for her name and image to be used.
Mr. DeJulio was hired full time Feb. 5, 2015 as a patrolman, having worked part time for the department since 2010 after graduating from Allegheny County’s police academy, according to a Spring 2015 township newsletter announcing his promotion. His salary was $65,025.
Mr. DeJulio grew up in Hazelwood, went to Central Catholic High School and graduated from La Roche College in 2010, the newsletter said.