PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl tries to put the federal probe focusing on the Pittsburgh Police Bureau in his rear view, new revelations have arisen.
On Thursday, Mayor Ravenstahl confirmed that his three bodyguards had debit cards to a primary focus of the investigation, an alleged slush fund at Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union.
KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan: “Did you benefit in any way from them having these cards?”
Mayor Ravenstahl: “Absolutely not.”
The Mayor says he reviewed the expenditures with federal authorities and found them all to be properly spent on city business out of town.
Mayor Ravenstahl: “Harrisburg, Washington DC, on trips when I went to the President’s inauguration, on trips when I went to do work in Harrisburg.”
Sheehan: “And they would have paid for hotels and meals?”
Mayor Ravenstahl: “Yes, there were. There were hotels paid out of that fund.”
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s interview with political expert Gerry Shuster of the University of Pittsburgh. He breaks down Mayor Ravenstahl’s Wednesday evening press conference:
But the fact that these and other expenditures came out of the account, such as the renting of a condo for the mayor in a Downtown Pittsburgh building during the G20 Summit, has left him open to criticism from mayoral opponent and City Controller Michael Lamb.
“These funds need to be open and honest, and the fact that these officers are using this money in a secret and surreptitious way, so as to avoid public scrutiny, there’s a problem with that,” said Lamb.
Mayor Ravenstahl, who says he was unaware of the slush fund, says he has concerns as well and is cooperating with Feds.
“This is something that was done without my knowledge. I would hope that when you put people in positions of authority they would do the right thing,” Mayor Ravenstahl added.
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