Contractor hands over documents on work done at Ravenstahl's home to U.S. attorney
A contractor confirmed Tuesday he provided federal investigators with documents they requested about work his company performed at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's home.
The development marks a turning point in the investigation into city spending because it links directly to Ravenstahl. Last week it reached the mayor's door in City Hall when his personal secretary and bodyguards met with grand jurors and prosecutors.
Ravenstahl referred questions to his Downtown attorney, Charles Porter.
Porter said William J. Rogers, the owner of All State Development in New Homestead, turned over a contract and canceled check from Ravenstahl to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Investigators inquired about work All State was doing at the Fineview home that Ravenstahl bought in August.
“It is what it is. Obviously, Porter's not lying,” Rogers, 47, of New Homestead, said. He declined further comment.
Since 2010, Pittsburgh has authorized about $2.3 million worth of work with another company Rogers owns — R&B Contracting and Excavation of West Homestead.
Porter said there was no quid pro quo for the interior and exterior work at Ravenstahl's home, including a block retaining wall. “There's no overt deals here. He didn't get the work done for free,” Porter said. “He properly contracted with the company. He wrote a check for $12,000 upfront. That's the initial payment. The balance is to be paid for the completion of the work.”
Porter said he didn't know how much the final bill will be.
Federal authorities in March charged former police Chief Nate Harper with diverting money to an account at the Greater Police Federal Credit Union and tapping it for personal expenses.
The FBI subpoenaed police records related to valet parking permits issued to city companies.
Porter said the U.S. Attorney's Office has previously notified him when a client is the target of a federal investigation.
Federal authorities have not done that in this case, he said.
“No one has ever told me that he's a target,” Porter said.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.