Judge allows report on Ravenstahl computer to be sealed

A federal judge today granted the city of Pittsburgh's motion to file a report on former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office computer under seal.

U.S. District Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti ordered that "the parties may file under seal the Status Report Regarding Forensic Mirror Image of Ravenstahl Computer."

Attorneys retained by the city had argued that the report and three accompanying affidavits should not be viewed by the public because they contain "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."

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.

That ruling came in UPMC's lawsuit claiming that the city's 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. Judge Wettick recently dismissed the challenge.

After the Post-Gazette reported that Mr. Ravenstahl took his old work computer home, due to his distrust of 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 July 8, 2014 12:00 AM

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