PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Art Bedway the businessman was the first of many to be investigated with regard to how the city does business.
And today changed his plea to guilty on three of seven counts including conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud.
KDKA’s Marty Griffin caught up with Bedway Tuesday afternoon and asked him if it’s difficult to hear his name associated with the term guilty.
“Yes, it is,” he said.
At issue is a contract for radios and computers in police cars. But Bedway’s lawyer says then chief Nate Harper was the mastermind.
“It was his idea,” said defense attorney Martin Dietz after the hearing. “This could not have happened without Nate Harper. It just couldn’t. He brought his own person in, she’s the one who solidified the bid for the company in which he was a partner.”
And the lawyer claims Harper was paid $10,000 cash.
“I think it’s safe to say $10,000, ” said Dietz.
“You’re saying Nate Harper received $10,000 out of this?” asked KDKA’s Harold Hayes.
“I believe that’s the number,” replied Dietz. “He definitely received two payments of cash.”
“So this indictment never mentions who this un-indicted person, a person known to the grand jury is,” asked Hayes. “That is Nate Harper?”
“That is Nate Harper,” replied Dietz.
But Harper’s lawyer, Robert DelGreco, disagrees.
“Frankly Nate is disappointed and outraged that these would be publicly made because it’s simply not true,” DelGreco said. “He didn’t mastermind anything, was involved in no criminality with regard to art Bedway and certainly didn’t take any money from him.”
Watch Marty Griffin’s report:
Harper’s lawyer says federal investigators never charged Harper with these crimes.
“At some point somebody must have determined that the allegations were not from a credible individual,” says DelGreco.
Harper has been charged with tax and conspiracy crimes in a separate case.
Bedway will be sentenced in November.
He could face up to 35 years in prison.
“I’m gonna move on with my life,” Bedway said. “I’ve cooperated, done what they asked me to and now I’m gonna move on with my life.”
Bedway says on top of that, it’s been hard to lose is 30-year friendship with Harper.