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Pittsburgh City Council President officially cited for dumping trash on steps of South Side business

| Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, 5:42 p.m.

Two citations accusing the Pittsburgh City Council president of harassment and littering became public Monday, court records show.

City police accuse Bruce Kraus of picking up garbage and dumping it on the front steps of A Diamond in the Ruff, the pet salon next door to his South Side home. According to the citation for harassment, owner Christine Marburger told police that Kraus “caused a scene” in her business on Sept. 27, and a police officer asked him to leave.

Marburger told police that she saw him pick up trash from South 18th Street and watched him dump the pile on her front steps Oct. 11.

Kraus has said that he believes the officer who filed the citations, former police union President Dan O'Hara, is targeting him.

“I steadfastly deny these accusations,” Kraus said in a prepared statement. “They are unfounded and untrue, and based on a hearsay report in which I was not given the opportunity to make a statement, or tell my side of the story before charges were made. I've built my reputation through years of sweat equity, and I won't have it wiped out by a moment of untruths.”

Kraus said he discussed his concerns with acting police Chief Cameron McLay.

Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said last week that McLay first directed Zone 3 Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly to review the matter. McNeilly determined O'Hara did nothing wrong. Toler said McLay had what she termed a “change of heart” and asked the city's Office of Municipal Investigations to look into the matter.

OMI Director Deborah Walker did not return a message seeking comment.

McNeilly told the Tribune-Review, “Understandably, Mr. Kraus is upset. ... But if we were to ignore it because he is an official, that also would not be a good thing on our part. I don't think it was mishandled.”

McNeilly also said the officer is not required to talk to Kraus before filing a citation.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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