PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Until the first week in January, the case outside the mayor’s office was filled with plaques and testimonials given to the city and former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
But when the Peduto administration moved in, the case was empty.
“The first week in the administration, we noticed that some items were missing and we passed that information on to the FBI,” said Kevin Acklin, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff.
The administration isn’t saying, but there are other items missing as well. One in particular is worth an estimated $30,000.
“It’s a Waterford crystal shaped like a football,” said City Councilman Corey O’Connor.
This trophy, commemorating the Steelers defeat of the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in 2006 was presented to the city and late Mayor Bob O’Connor, the father of Councilman O’Connor.
“It was given to the city by the NFL, so I assume the Steeler and there was a big presentation in the mayor’s office,” said Councilman O’Connor.
But Charles Porter, the attorney for Ravenstahl, vehemently denied that anything had been improperly taken or stolen from the mayor’s office.
Porter said all items are safely stored, though he could not say where, and chastised the Peduto administration for contacting the FBI instead of Ravenstahl himself.
In a statement, he said: “This is not a situation where things are being sold on eBay or diverted. It’s simply a case of people packing up the office and putting them in safe keeping until somebody requests them. There is a mix of things that might be gifts or things that are the property of the city, but instead of contacting [Ravenstahl], they went to the FBI to make some political show.”
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “Why wouldn’t you just go to the former mayor and ask him where they were?”
Acklin: “Again, we were in discussions already. There’s an ongoing federal investigation of the prior administration. We felt that it was our obligation to notify them of what we thought was missing
Were these items stolen or simply in storage somewhere waiting to be sorted out. We may not know the answer for a while. It’s in the hands of the FBI and they’re not talking.