Judge tells UPMC, city to look into copying Ravenstahl's computer
A federal judge on Monday ordered UPMC and Pittsburgh to let her know by Thursday whether they can make a mirror image of the data on the work computer former Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl took home around the time he left office.
UPMC has asked U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti to allow it to question Ravenstahl and have a specialist examine the computer to determine whether he deleted evidence relevant to a legal battle between the medical giant and the city.
Lee Neubecker, president of Forensicon Inc., said a full forensic image of the computer is a snapshot of “every zero and one that's visible on the hard drive.” Forensicon is a Chicago-based consulting company that specializes in computer forensics.
Using that image, an expert can search for deleted files and access social media caches and other data that simply copying the active files to a new drive wouldn't capture, he said.
“It would be the same as if you were looking at the original drive,” Neubecker said.
The city is claiming in state court that UPMC doesn't meet the definition of a public charity and should be required to pay property and payroll taxes. UPMC claims in federal court that the city's challenge violates its constitutional rights.
The judge last fall issued a preservation order in response to UPMC's concern that changes in city hall would cause evidence to disappear. Ravenstahl served more than seven years as mayor before his tenure ended in early January, when Mayor Bill Peduto took office.
Since the Peduto administration handed the computer over to the FBI, there's a good chance federal investigators have made a mirror image or have sealed the computer to preserve evidence, Neubecker said.
The city and Ravenstahl said in a court filing last week that the former mayor did not delete anything during the 10 days in December and January when he had the computer at his house.
When Ravenstahl returned the computer, Peduto's administration turned it over to the FBI because of the federal investigation into the city's operations under the Ravenstahl administration.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-325-4301 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.
- Feds: Temple professor offered China data on U.S.-made device
- Officials envision reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport
- Pa. sees widespread job gains; jobless rate holds at 5.3%
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- Troopers shoot person inside Somerset grocery store
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- New Kensington Megan’s Law offender jailed on new child porn charges
- Natrona Heights native helped bring ‘American Ninja Warrior’ to Pittsburgh
- Former Steelers kicker Reed doesn’t like new NFL PAT rule
- Starkey: Patriots’ legacy forever stained