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Crystal football, now missing, sat in Pittsburgh mayor's office, resignee says

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Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 11:27 p.m.
 

Missing: One piece of prized Super Bowl memorabilia. Description: 12 pounds, sparkling, hand-cut in the shape of a football. Value: $30,000.

Dennis Regan recalls the sparkling Waterford crystal trophy sitting in then-Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office when he resigned as the mayor's director of operations in December 2006. Regan resigned after clashing with Ravenstahl.

Last month, Kevin Acklin, Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff, told the Tribune-Review that the Ravenstahl administration “took everything — gifts to the city” — before moving out. Among them was a Waterford crystal Super Bowl trophy, he said.

The trophy from the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2009 Super Bowl victory was auctioned for charity, but the trophy for the 2006 Super Bowl is unaccounted for. Dan Regan, who was solicitor in the Ravenstahl administration, said he didn't know whether the trophy was in the mayor's office. Messages to Ravenstahl and other members of his former staff went unreturned.

The Steelers became Super Bowl XL champions on Feb. 5, 2006. Two days later, Waterford presented the trophy to then-Mayor Bob O'Connor at Kaufmann's department store, Downtown. A press release from the event pegged the value at $30,000.

“It wasn't given to Mayor O'Connor, it was given to the city of Pittsburgh,” Dennis Regan said.

Peduto's office alerted the FBI to the missing items, as well as a damaged truck. On Thursday, spokesman Tim McNulty wouldn't give details about the items or confirm they included the Super Bowl trophy, citing an ongoing federal investigation into the city's operations under Ravenstahl.

Councilman Corey O'Connor said the trophy is not in his family's possession. He said he went through parcels boxed up following his father's death in September 2006. He found a small crystal football, a mini replica of the original Waterford trophy, laser-cut with a Super Bowl XL logo and marked 13 215,000.

He brought it back to his City Council office on Thursday.

Pittsburgh Steelers officials said they were not familiar with the trophy and referred questions to the NFL. A spokesman said the league has no affiliation with Waterford. Calls and emails to a Waterford representative went unreturned.

The Salvation Army and WTAE-TV auctioned the 2009 trophy to benefit the Salvation Army's Project Bundle Up. Macy's donated the trophy. It was unclear how Macy's came to own it.

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or mdaniels@tribweb.com.

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