Timeline: Nate Harper's career as Pittsburgh police chief

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Oct. 31, 2006: Nate Harper, who had been assistant chief of investigations, is sworn in as police chief.

Oct. 18, 2006: Mayor's police chief choice draws praise

Sept. 25, 2011: The Post-Gazette reports on the relationship between Chief Harper and Robinson entrepreneur Arthur Bedway. Mr. Bedway was involved with the company Alpha Outfitters, which won a $337,000 contract to install radios and computers in city police cars. Mr. Bedway was also chairman of Carnegie-based Victory Security, which employed the chief's wife, Cynthia, for a time.

Nov. 16, 2012: Mr. Bedway, 63, and Christine Ann Kebr, a former systems analyst for the city, are charged in federal court with conspiring to rig the contract won by Alpha Outfitters. Ms. Kebr helped craft both the city's selection process and Alpha Outfitters' bid, then aided the company in getting its inflated bills paid, and was paid a bribe by Mr. Bedway, according to a criminal complaint. Mr. Bedway is charged with conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud.

Dec. 6, 2012: Ms. Kebr, 56, pleads guilty to conspiracy. She admitted to taking two bribes, totaling $6,000 and will be sentenced April 4. Mr. Bedway has pleaded not guilty to related charges of mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy.

Jan. 18, 2013: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl expresses confidence in the chief despite federal criminal charges against Ms. Kebr and Mr. Bedway. "Certainly [Chief Harper] has professed to me that he's done nothing wrong. And at this point he has my full confidence," the mayor says.

Jan. 25, 2013: Chief Harper says in an interview he hasn't received a target letter related to a federal probe of a 2007 city contract, and he didn't get money from Mr. Bedway.

Feb. 7, 2013: The Post-Gazette reports that in 2012, Chief Harper became part of a private security consulting firm with a civilian police clerk and three of his officers, including a sergeant he later promoted to commander.

Feb. 9, 2013: The Post-Gazette reports that in 2007, Chief Harper allowed Eric Holmes -- the sergeant whom he would later promote to commander and go into private business with -- to work a second full-time job as interim head of Slippery Rock University's police force.

Feb. 12, 2013: FBI agents seize documents from Pittsburgh police headquarters. Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson says he believes the documents are part of an investigation into allegations that funds were being misappropriated internally.

Feb. 13, 2013: Pittsburgh police acknowledge they are investigating whether some officers were wrongfully getting first crack at working various types of side jobs, called "details."

Feb. 14, 2013: The FBI removes documents from the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union, indicating the widening of a federal probe into the Pittsburgh police bureau.

Feb. 18, 2013: Mr. Ravenstahl appoints former Washington County District Attorney Steven M. Toprani to review policies in the police bureau as they relate to outside employment.

Feb. 20, 2013: On the same day he is interviewed by FBI agents and learns he is not the target of an investigation, Mr. Ravenstahl announces that he asked for and received Chief Harper's resignation.

Feb. 23, 2013: Chief Regina McDonald promised to create an additional layer of oversight for the office at the center of a federal investigation.

Feb. 26, 2013: Tamara Davis, Officer Tonya Montgomery-Ford and payroll clerk Kim Montgomery have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Feb. 27, 2013: As allegations of mismanagement of police funds fly, city officials are sparring about overtime pay receipts.

March 2, 2013: On the same day that the FBI returned to Pittsburgh police headquarters, the mayor's office released documents describing two of his bodyguards' activity on an account at the center of a federal investigation.

March 3, 2013: Nate Harper was admired as a "cop's cop" when he became chief. But his tenure reveals an operating method that might have led him to doom.

March 4, 2013: Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Regina McDonald disbands the Community Technical Investigative and Preparedness Section, known colloquially as C-TIPS, that previously reported to former chief Harper.

March 22, 2013: After a grand jury handed down an indictment charging Harper with conspiracy and tax evasion, the former Pittsburgh police chief's attorneys said he would plead guilty to all five counts.

March 23, 2013: Harper's attorneys described the 'temptation' of the unauthorized accounts that led to the grand jury indictment.

March 25, 2013: Details about what led to Harper's indictment continue to unfold; it becomes clear that Diverse Public Safety Consultants, a company organized by Harper, involved city employees other than police officers, and, that the FBI first interviewed Harper back in 2011.

March 29, 2013: Documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette show Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb began an audit of the Pittsburgh police bureau on March 21.


First Published February 21, 2013 5:00 AM


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