Pittsburgh wants to file report on Ravenstahl computer under seal

Attorneys representing the city of Pittsburgh in a court fight with UPMC asked today for a judge's permission to file a report on former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's computer under seal.

Attorney Ronald Barber, representing the city in the federal court suit filed by the medical system against the city and Mr. Ravenstahl, wrote that the city is ready to file a status report on efforts to copy the memory of the computer the former mayor used while in office.

"That report, which will include three supporting affidavits, contains details about the city of Pittsburgh’s computer systems, employees and locations that the City reasonably believes would constitute a danger to its computer security, and that would unduly invade the privacy of city employees not involved in this litigation, if the report were made public," Mr. Barber wrote.

He added that UPMC has not objected to having the report filed under seal. U.S. District Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti will decide whether the report can be concealed from the public's view.

Judge Conti ruled in April that UPMC can hire a vendor to copy the data on Mr. Ravenstahl's former work computer, but that the data must be kept in a sealed envelope until it is needed in litigation.

UPMC last year sued the city and Mr. Ravenstahl, claiming that their challenge to its tax exemptions violated its civil rights. Judge Conti stayed the case while Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. reviewed the city's challenge. Last week, Judge Wettick dismissed the challenge.

After the Post-Gazette reported that Mr. Ravenstahl took his old work computer home, due to his distrust of new Mayor Bill Peduto, UPMC demanded access to the machine. The computer, which was briefly in the FBI's hands, was returned to the city.

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

First Published June 30, 2014 12:00 AM

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