Probation For Penn Professor

Posted: August 06, 1992

University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Hartwell yesterday was placed on six months' probation for calling 911 and allegedly threatening to kill Mayor Rendell in April.

Municipal Judge Lydia Y. Kirkland ordered Hartwell into the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program on the recommendation of Assistant District Attorney Stacey Buccilli.

Under the pretrial program, if Hartwell stays out of trouble, his arrest record will be expunged. He was not required to enter a plea to charges of making terroristic threats.

Hartwell, who teaches medieval Chinese history, came dressed to the hearing in clothing reminiscent of the wild west era. He wore a blazer, a western tie, a shirt with pearl buttons and ostrich cowboy boots. His fingers were decorated with Indian rings, according to his lawyer.

"He was placed into the program because the Commonwealth recognized that he never had any real intention of threatening the mayor, and secondly, they realized that he never posed an actual threat because of any kind of psychological or psychiatric problems," said defense attorney Perry deMarco. ''It was just a singular incident that is not likely to occur again."

DeMarco said Hartwell "likes the mayor. He holds him in very high regard. He's an economist, and he happened to like the mayor's fiscal plan to the city when it was orginally posed."

DeMarco said that on the day of the call, Hartwell was under the influence of pain killers as a result of having dental work.

He said Hartwell didn't realize what he had done.

"He's very happy that it's over, and he's hoping he doesn't have to come back to City Hall again," deMarco said.

Hartwell had no comment.

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