Pittsburgh deputy police chief tells officers in email: 'Stop rumors. Stop whining,' in wake of Harper case
A Pittsburgh deputy police chief says he is “troubled” by officers who are creating low morale by spreading false information about the bureau's recent problems.
“I am troubled by the response of some of our officers to the recent events that have impacted the bureau,” Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune-Review.
“What is alarming to me, are those officers who are trying to destroy us from within,” he wrote. “Who spread falsehoods about fellow officers and are envious of what others have or are perceived to have.
“Stop the rumors. Stop the whining. Stop the baseless accusations. Stop the self defeating attitude,” Donaldson wrote. “You did nothing wrong and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your friends don't need excuses and your enemies won't accept them.”
The “events” to which Donaldson referred in his email include the recent five-count federal indictment against former police Chief Nate Harper.
The head of the police union said Donaldson's attempt to restore morale “is long overdue.”
“I think this is the first attempt at real leadership that I've seen in a long time,” said Michael LaPorte, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1.
LaPorte said Donaldson's email has been circulated throughout the bureau. Several officers said they received the email on Thursday afternoon but declined to comment.
Donaldson could not be reached for comment.
“I think he (Donaldson) is trying to get the rank-and-file to focus on doing their jobs instead of worrying about the problems the bureau is facing,” LaPorte said. “He realizes that a lot of the information that is going out is filled with half truths, which ends up making everybody look bad.”
Harper, 60, of Stanton Heights is accused of setting up two secret police credit-union accounts with more than $70,000 in checks and cash payments from bars, restaurants, construction firms and other businesses that hire off-duty officers.
The indictment states that Harper spent nearly $32,000 from the slush fund for “personal use” on meals, alcohol, movies, a TV, gift cards and other items. In addition to diverting public money, Harper is accused of failing to file tax returns on his six-figure salary for four years.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Allegheny County Council wants to hike members’ $3K expense accounts
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- Newsmaker: Christine Pease-Hernandez
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Growth spurs expanded staff at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
- Reading Harry Potter provides clues to brain activity, CMU researchers say
- Girl, 12, rescues 4-year-old sister from burning house in Homestead
- Suspect in Route 28 death has long history of ignoring vehicle registration, license laws, records show
- Group’s proposed fracking moratorium for Allegheny County parks to go on council agenda
- 6 shot at Clairton speakeasy; police seek suspects