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Judge denies former city police Chief Nate Harper's appeal

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 5:12 p.m.

A federal judge on Tuesday quickly denied former Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper's motion for a new sentence.

Milton Raiford, who is representing Harper in his appeal, filed a motion at 9 a.m. asking U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon to reconsider Harper's sentence based on his 10 meetings with the FBI before and after his indictment and the lack of a plea agreement between Harper and the government.

Bissoon issued an order at 2:15 p.m. saying that the appeal doesn't raise any issues that weren't considered at Harper's sentencing two weeks ago and that the lack of a plea agreement was not an issue for the court to consider.

“Defendant has failed to identify clear error that would cause the court to reverse course, and the motion therefore is denied,” Bissoon said.

She sentenced Harper, 61, of Stanton Heights to 18 months in prison based on his guilty plea to conspiring to divert about $32,000 of public money into his own pockets and four counts of failing to file federal tax returns.

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