Pittsburgh mayor tweets shots at police lieutenant who moonlights as referee
The Tribune-Review is chronicling Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's service until his term ends in January.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was missing in action at City Hall for most of Thanksgiving week, but he spent part of the time taking potshots at a police officer who doubles as a college basketball referee.
Ravenstahl went to the office to attend to city business on Monday, according to spokeswoman Marissa Doyle.
She said he was out on Tuesday and Wednesday, but declined to say why. Raven-stahl repeatedly has declined to release his schedule.
“As I've said before, I will not be providing the mayor's hourly schedule,” Doyle wrote in an email.
Ravenstahl spent part of Tuesday night, however, watching the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team rout Stanford during the Progressive Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to his Twitter account.
At 11:20 p.m., the mayor posted a tweet noting that police Lt. Larry Scirotto was among the officiating team.
“Kinda odd to watch Pgh Police Lieutenant Larry Scirotto referee the @HailToPittHoopsGame. #justsayin #gopitt,” he tweeted.
Thirteen minutes later he posted a link to a StatSheet.com page listing all of Scirotto's games this year. Scirotto so far has refereed 47 games, all but five of them out of state, according to the site.
“Wow! Imagine if I was out of town this often!!,” Ravenstahl wrote. He included the hashtags “#mediafrenzy” and “#howdoeshedoboth.”
The mayor did not respond to questions about the posts, but he wrote on Twitter a day later that his comments were aimed at the media, not Scirotto.
“No intent to be critical of Lt Scirotto,” Ravenstahl wrote. “Hell, I promoted the guy! He's a solid cop and a decent ref too! Tweet was to show media hypocrisy.”
Scirotto, stationed at the Zone 3 station in Arlington, was mystified. He said he has dedicated his 18-year career to serving Pittsburgh residents and his job always comes first.
“I find it very disheartening that I have to defend the actions of my private life that are not illegal or unethical,” he wrote in an email. “I have the fortunate opportunity to participate in a sport I love, while securing my family's financial long-term well-being. I have a passion for both of my professions and I will continue to give them 100 percent of my energy and effort!”
Ravenstahl's whereabouts were unknown on Thursday and Friday. Both days were holidays for city employees, and Doyle did not respond to email questions on Friday.
Mayor-elect Bill Peduto, who will replace Ravenstahl on Jan. 6, spent part of his Thanksgiving Day serving dinner to homeless people in the North Side's Light of Life Rescue Mission. Peduto was there for about an hour and said he has volunteered off and on at the mission for about 15 years.
As of the weekend, Pittsburgh residents have paid Ravenstahl about $99,700 this year. He makes $108,000 annually.
Did you see Ravenstahl recently? Send photos and details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Alex Nixon contributed to this report. Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.