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DA's OK questioned

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Regarding the news story “DA Zappala: Pittsburgh chief's involvement in private company not illegal” (Feb. 8 and I assume it is not necessary to recapitulate for the Trib and its readers what has transpired vis-à-vis the FBI investigation of this matter, Nate Harper's forced resignation as Pittsburgh police chief and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's decision not to seek re-election since that story was published.

And yet, despite the tremendous amount of coverage that this highly disturbing investigation has received from the Trib, there has not been any apparent effort to interview Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. again and ask him to explain why he decided everything was fine and there was no reason whatsoever for the DA's office to become involved.

Perhaps the overwhelming expenditure of time, effort, investigative expertise and money by the DA's office on the Orie/Melvin cases depleted all its reserves and made it impossible to pursue other matters. Or Zappala may have determined that the “crime” of using governmental employees to do political campaign work was much more egregious than what has thus far been revealed (more to come) about the horrendous debacle involving the mayor and the Pittsburgh police department.

Zappala has stated there was no personal motive or political vendetta that led to his exhaustive efforts to put three sisters from a respected family with no criminal record in jail for years. If anyone believes that, let me know. There is a bridge in New York City available at a good price that I would like to bring to his attention.

Cyril H. Wecht

Squirrel Hill

The writer is a former Allegheny County coroner.

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