URA: U.S. Attorney's Office subpoenaed documents
A day after Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's chief of staff testified before a federal grand jury, the Urban Redevelopment Authority he heads revealed it will comply with a subpoena from federal investigators to produce documents.
“On Sept. 4, 2013, the URA was served with a subpoena to produce documents requested by the U.S. Attorney's Office. We will comply with the subpoena but will not disclose the subject matter. The URA will have no further comment on this matter,” a statement released on Wednesday said.
Ravenstahl's chief of staff, Yarone Zober, 38, chairs the URA's board of directors.
Zober declined comment Tuesday as he left the grand jury room where he testified for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The panel also heard also from Ashlee Olivo, who sources said dated the mayor. They are among a number of Ravenstahl associates to appear before the grand jury in recent months.
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to release a copy of the subpoena.
Robert Rubinstein, the URA's acting executive director, said he has no concern that the URA did anything wrong.
“There's nothing under my watch that worries me,” he said.
Two of the four other URA board members — James Kunz, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, and Bill Rudolph, a principal in McKnight Realty Partners — did not return calls seeking comment.
City Councilman Daniel Lavelle and state Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, the other board members, said they don't know what records the government wants and had not seen the subpoena.
“It doesn't raise any concerns with me,” Lavelle said. “I know we've done everything above board as long as I've been here.”
Zober's lawyer, Doug Sughrue, declined to say what investigators asked Zober, or whether Zober received immunity in exchange for his testimony.
“I'm sure the URA complied fully with the records request,” Sughrue said.
Ravenstahl did not respond to a request for comment.
It's unclear why investigators subpoenaed URA records. Investigators previously obtained copies of valet parking permits police issued to Robert Gigliotti, who supported Ravenstahl's re-election campaigns.
Gigliotti owns William Penn Parking Inc., which holds city permits to operate six parking lots with more than 1,100 spots. The URA owns two of those lots — one on Third Avenue near Ross Street, Downtown, and another on Smallman Street in the Strip District.
Gigliotti is a friend of ousted city police Chief Nate Harper and his wife, Linda, is a city police officer.
Since May, the grand jury has interviewed people with personal and professional ties to Ravenstahl, including his top secretary, his current and former police bodyguards, other police officials and the former chair of the Pittsburgh Stadium Authority.
Staff writers Bob Bauder and Brian Bowling contributed. Bobby Kerlik is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ defense unfazed by noise, believes in potential
- Phone threats put scare into international flights
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh asking Supreme Court to hear case
- Pirates pound Padres for 7th consecutive victory
- Penguins notebook: After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma’s hiring
- Overhaul possible for West Mifflin’s Century III Mall
- Man dies in North Buffalo fire
- Kiski River search finds kayak but no kayaker
- Juvenile status hearing, trial delayed in Franklin Regional stabbings
- Former Ford City superintendent charged with killing family member in Texas
- Ice Miners not returning to Connellsville