Attorneys debate bribes on city contract

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys staking out positions in advance of the sentencing of a Robinson entrepreneur in a Pittsburgh bribery case filed competing briefs on Wednesday on whether the defendant made money on the scheme.

Art Bedway, 64, "did not personally pocket any of the funds generated by Alpha Outfitters" as that Esplen firm got $327,729 from the city in return for installing and maintaining radios and computers in police cars, wrote defense attorney Marty Dietz in his pre-sentencing motion.

Assistant U.S. attorney Robert Cessar wrote that Colleen Moore, now Mr. Bedway's wife, testified that there was profit from the contract.

"My husband would ask me if there was anything left over that month, after we had paid all of the bills, whatever they may be," Ms. Moore told a grand jury. "And then I would say, there's, whatever the amount was, I would tell him what it was, and then he would say to me, 'OK. Can you write a check?' "

For example, Ms. Moore wrote a $9,000 check and Mr. Bedway gave $3,000 to then-city systems analyst Christine Kebr and $3,000 to another conspirator whose name is redacted from the grand jury transcript. "We kept the other $3,000," Ms. Moore testified, according to Mr. Cessar's filing.

Mr. Dietz has said in court that the other conspirator is former police chief Nate Harper.

"Nate adamantly denies ever accepting a penny from ... Art Bedway for anything," said Robert Leight, one of the former chief's attorneys.

Mr. Dietz wrote that sentencing guidelines suggest a prison term of one year to one and a half years for Mr. Bedway, though judges can vary from that range.

Mr. Bedway faces sentencing Nov. 20 after pleading guilty to conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud. Ms. Kebr, 56, of Castle Shannon, is set to be sentenced Feb. 11 for conspiracy.

In a separate case, Mr. Harper pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to failure to file tax returns. He faces sentencing Feb. 25.

Rich Lord:, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord.

Rich Lord:, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord. First Published October 30, 2013 1:34 PM

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