Former Pittsburgh police Chief Harper to report to prison by April 1

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Nate Harper, former chief of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Police, has been ordered to report to a federal penitentiary in Illinois by April 1, his attorney said today.

Attorney Milton Raiford said that late last week, Harper received a Federal Bureau of Prisons notification that he was assigned to the minimum security satellite camp at the medium security Federal Correctional Institution Pekin, south of Peoria.

"It's not going to be a barbed wire type place, but the distance is going to be very poor for him," said Mr. Raiford. It will be tough for his family to visit, the attorney said. "That doesn't help [a prisoner] in their rehabilitation."

Harper's prior attorneys had hoped that he would be housed at a federal prison in Morgantown.

Mr. Raiford said he may ask the bureau to consider moving Harper closer to his family, but he conceded that there is no appeals process. "Once you're sentenced, you become the property of the Bureau of Corrections, essentially."

Mr. Raiford reiterated that Harper met some 10 times with federal investigators, but has gotten no credit for that. "The public should demand an update" on the federal probe of city dealings, he said. "I'd hate to see Nate Harper be the pound of flesh in this investigation."

A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman could not be immediately reached.

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

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