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Ruling Expected Today On Allegheny County Property Assessments

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The judge who ordered the Allegheny County reassessments is expected to decide today if the rollout should be delayed.

Judge R. Stanton Wettick wants the new values used this year, but Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald wants them tossed.

Fitzgerald ordered his employees to stop the reassessment process, but the judge ordered them to continue.

"It looks like now we have a judge who is trying to take it over," said Fitzgerald. "Basically, demanding that employees under the executive branch now become part of the judicial branch."

A court order issued by Wettick essentially instructs four of Fitzgerald's appointees to ignore their boss and obey the judge.

"It appears that Judge Wettick has made a conscious effort to focus on the people who actually produce the work product that he desires, and he's sort of singled them out, he's called them out," Prof. Joseph Mistick, of Duquesne Law School.

Judge Wettick says if the four county employees disobey his orders, but follow their bosses, he may find them in contempt of court.

Meanwhile, a real estate lawyer told our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that at least one client has backed out of a deal to buy a downtown building after estimating new tax values that have soared because of the new assessments.

Another says he plans to close his doors and move to Cranberry, Butler County.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

County Executive, Judge In Assessment Standoff (1/11/12)
Allegheny County Office Of Property Assessments
Filing An Assessment Appeal

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