FBI returns once-missing crystal Super Bowl trophy to city; antique clock found, too
The mysteries of the missing Waterford crystal Super Bowl trophy and Art Deco mantel clock are solved.
Former Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl packed up the trophy when he left office and turned it over to the FBI about two weeks ago, his attorney Charles Porter said. The FBI returned it to the city on Friday morning.
And Mayor Bill Peduto said someone discovered the Seth Thomas clock in the empty office of a recently retired city employee.
Both the trophy and clock were included on a list the new administration sent to the FBI of what it said were missing or damaged items worth some $200,000. The trophy, a crystal football, is valued at about $30,000. A Butler County expert put the clock's value at $50 to $150.
Porter said Ravenstahl never had the clock and ripped Peduto for “blaming the world on Mr. Ravenstahl.”
“If they have proof of something, tell them to file a civil lawsuit and we'll see him in court. Otherwise, they should go about running the city,” he said.
Mayoral spokesman Tim McNulty said Peduto has never accused Ravenstahl of taking anything. The mayor, he said, has said only that items were missing.
Peduto Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin, however, previously told the Tribune-Review that the Ravenstahl administration “took everything — gifts to the city” — before leaving office.
Porter said Ravenstahl packed up his office contents and put them in storage on the advice of another attorney, whom he would not identify. About two weeks ago, Ravenstahl let the FBI look over everything and gave them the trophy, Porter said.
Peduto has declined to release an itemized list of what he turned over to the FBI. Kelly Kochamba, a spokeswoman for the FBI, declined comment.
“We want to wash our hands of this,” Peduto said.
The trophy to commemorate the Steelers' 2006 Super Bowl victory was presented to then-Mayor Bob O'Connor. Jeffrey Campbell, owner of Clocks Repaired By Jeff in Seven Fields, said the clock was made in the 1940s and is fairly common.
Peduto said the clock “took a mysterious journey” from the mayor's office, but it is unclear how the clock got into the other office. There are security cameras in the City-County Building, Downtown, but administration officials declined to divulge their location.
Gerald Shuster, a professor of political communication at the University of Pittsburgh, described the ongoing flap over missing and damaged items as “much ado about nothing.”
“(Peduto's) administration should be taking on far more important issues in the city that need to be addressed,” he said.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.