Former Pittsburgh city employee guilty in contract rigging seeks sentencing postponement

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A former city of Pittsburgh systems analyst who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and confirmed that she took bribes to rig a contract has asked today for postponement of her May 22 sentencing.

Christine Ann Kebr "is cooperating in an ongoing investigation, and the Defense believes it would be advisable to postpone her sentencing until her cooperation is complete," wrote her attorney, Gary E. Gerson, in a motion to U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar does not object, Mr. Gerson wrote. Mr. Cessar is the prosecutor leading the probe of city dealings.

Mr. Gerson wants the sentencing postponed until July 23 or later.

Ms. Kebr, 56, of Castle Shannon, confirmed receiving $6,000 in bribes after she helped to steer a city contract to outfit and maintain police car radios and computers to Esplen-based Alpha Outfitters.

Mr. Gerson could not be reached for further comment.

Mr. Cessar has said in court filings and at Ms. Kebr's guilty plea hearing that Alpha Outfitters was controlled by Robinson Entrepreneur Art Bedway, 64. Mr. Bedway has pleaded not guilty to seven federal charges related to the contract.

Mr. Bedway was a friend of former Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper. Mr. Harper denied any involvement in the Alpha Outfitters contract award.

Mr. Harper faces five federal criminal charges related to alleged diversion of funds for personal use, and failure to file tax returns. His attorneys have said he is cooperating with federal investigators and expects to plead guilty, perhaps as early as June.

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


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