Defendant in city contract case seeks extension

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A Robinson man indicted and accused of paying bribes to secure a contract to install radios and computers in Pittsburgh Bureau of Police cars today asked for, and received, a one-month extension to file pre-trial motions.

Martin Dietz, attorney for Art Bedway, wrote in the two-page motion that he "has not completed his review of the discovery materials available in this case and the parties are in discussions that may result in a pre-trial disposition of this case."

That language suggests that Mr. Bedway is involved in plea negotiations with U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton's office. Mr. Bedway has pleaded not guilty and appeared before a grand jury believed to be looking at the contract and possibly police bureau financial transactions.

Judge Cathy Bissoon gave Mr. Dietz an extension until March 27.

Prosecutors have said that Mr. Bedway controlled Alpha Outfitters, a company that got around $337,000 for installing the computers and radios. Former city systems analyst Christine Kebr has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and confirmed in court that she helped Alpha Outfitters to get the contract and took $6,000 in bribes from Mr. Bedway. Prosecutors have not named a third person they believe to have been involved in Alpha Outfitters.

Former city Police Chief Nate Harper was a friend of Mr. Bedway, but has denied having any involvement in the contract award. Mr. Harper's wife, Cynthia Harper, worked for Victory Security, of which Mr. Bedway is chairman.

Mr. Harper resigned under pressure Wednesday after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met with the FBI and federal prosecutors.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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