Pittsburgh Police Investigation Continues, Mayor Speaks Out
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Trips to police conventions, trips to a police memorial, police shields and a fallen police officer’s car loan are some of the purchases being scrutinized by investigators.
Some of the money taken from police funds and paid for out of what’s being described as an “illegal slush fund” set up at the Police Credit Union.
New details are emerging as FBI agents follow the money trail in an ever expanding investigation into alleged corruption at the Pittsburgh Police Department.
The documents show hotel room charges — one charge for more than $2,000, the other for more than $700.
Sources confirm Police Chief Nate Harper paid for the rooms outside of Washington D.C. for a police memorial honoring three fallen Pittsburgh Police officers.
The air travel charges out of Pittsburgh to Denver and to Chicago, sources confirm Harper paid for his expenses to International Association of Police Chiefs conventions.
Additionally, sources confirm police officer Eric Kelly, who was gunned down in 2010, by Richard Poplawski, along with two other Pittsburgh officers, didn’t have car insurance when he died and owed $22,000 on his vehicle when he died.
Sources indicate Harper approved the payoff of that loan from the Police Credit Union account.
Sources also indicate Harper approved of the purchase of police shields for the G-20 Summit because federal money didn’t come soon enough.
Then there was this expense –the fund paid for the party at a downtown restaurant for a police sergeant promoted to commander. All of it, according to sources, was signed off on by Harper.
“We need to make sure that we evaluate this,” Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. “Just because somebody spent money on a hotel room doesn’t mean they weren’t there doing city business. Just because money was spent on G-20 doesn’t meant it wasn’t supposed to be spent from that account.”
The truth is, the Mayor says, there’s a lot to look at in the Federal Credit Union accounts the FBI seized, saying there could be thousands of transactions dating back to 2004.
“I just want to make sure that at the end of the day, none of these funds were used improperly,” Ravenstahl said. “That they were all used for city business, that they were all used for the appropriate reasons.”