The Pittsburgh police scandal: Muddled mess
The firing-slash-resignation-slash-retirement of Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper raises more questions than it answers, of course.
Mr. Harper, a 36-year veteran of the force and chief for the past 6 1⁄2 years, supposedly is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation — first into the awarding of a police contract to the shell company of a one-time friend who likely “flipped” on him and, more notably, into the finances of a special events fund and unauthorized accounts at a credit union. The term “slush fund” has been thrown around. Harper, 60, denies wrongdoing. No charges have been filed.
But on Wednesday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who had stood behind the chief, changed his mind. Or, to be more precise, he had his mind changed for him in a two-hour visit to the FBI and the U.S. attorney. The feds obviously gave Mr. Ravenstahl a mind-blowing bill of particulars against the chief, details not made public.
Harper was asked to resign (i.e., fired); Harper, through his attorney, says he was going to retire anyway. Why?
It's quite odd for the normally tight-lipped feds to tip their hand (by Luke proxy) in such a way. Why this time?
And it was more than a bit odd that Ravenstahl — who during a Wednesday night news conference, repeatedly said he was neither a target of an investigation nor had he received a grant of immunity for talking to the feds — took not only a city attorney but his personal counsel to the session. Why?
Odder still is that Ravenstahl named as acting chief Assistant Chief Regina McDonald. Why? After all, she oversaw the very operation the feds are investigating.
The public deserves more answers.
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.
- For U.S. House, Pa.: Re-elect Rothfus, Shuster, Kelly & Barletta
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- U.N. Watch: Gun-grabbers unite!
- Monsour’s legacy: A bitter pill
- Tom Wolf’s ‘Fresh Start’: Vague & stale
- For U.S. Senate, W.Va.: Elect Shelley Moore Capito
- McCaffery’s suspension: Castille’s concurrence