Brian Buglio admitted to telling a resident he would arrest him if he didn’t stop posting negative comments about him and the department on Facebook
WILKES-BARRE, ALZERNE COUNTY (WBRE / WYOU) – A former West Hazleton police chief who pleaded guilty in June to a civil rights violation was convicted in federal court in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.
Federal investigators accused Brian Buglio earlier this year of violating the free speech rights of a man who criticized Buglio and the police department on social media.
A federal judge sentenced Buglio to two months in state prison, a fine of $ 5,000 and four months of house arrest with electronic surveillance.
Buglio admits he told a resident he would arrest him for a felony if he kept posting negative comments about himself and the department on Facebook.
According to federal prosecutors, the conversation and threat was recorded by a camera inside West Hazleton Police Station. Buglio told the man he knew the felony charge “lacked merit”, but that he would file it anyway.
Buglio apologized in court and said he took full responsibility for what he did. He also brought his supporters to the federal courthouse.
Journalist Andy Mehalshick will have more to come in subsequent editions of Eyewitness News.