PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s another twist in the federal investigation that first targeted the Pittsburgh Police Department and is now looking at the actions of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
KDKA has confirmed investigators are looking into renovations at the mayor’s new house — work that’s being done by a company owned by a city contractor.
Even though he purchased it nine months ago, the renovations go on at the mayor’s house in Fineview, where there are pallets of stone for a retaining wall and French windows waiting to be installed.
The firm doing the work is Allstate Development of Homestead — owned by a man named Bill Rogers — who also owns R & B Excavation and Construction — a company that won a no-bid emergency contract from the Ravenstahl Administration to stabilize and repair a section of Mt. Washington after a landslide onto P.J. McArdle Roadway.
The $750,000 contact is only part of the $2.3 million of work the company has performed for the city, and the fact that a Rogers’ company is working on Ravenstahl’s house has drawn federal scrutiny.
Federal investigators are asking questions: How was this contractor chosen, how much work was performed and who paid for it?
The city code of conduct says city employees should not “accept any service or anything of value upon more favorable terms than those granted to the public generally from any person, firm or corporation having dealings with the city.”
Records show the mayor purchased the house in august for $110,000 and that the seller Jennifer Eisner took a $23,000 dollar loss.
On top of that, two days before the sale a building permit was secured in Eisner’s name — hiring Allstate to do $8,500 of renovation.
Eisner — an emergency room doctor — has moved to Arkansas, where she declined to take phone calls.
Why the permit is in her name and how All State was chosen are question that remain unanswered.
Rogers also decide all comment, and the mayor said last week he’ll have nothing more to say.
“We’ve continued to cooperate and we will continue to do that. I’m not going to comment on anything specifically,” Ravenstahl said.
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