Pittsburgh interim police Chief McDonald makes more changes

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Acting police Chief Regina McDonald told the department in an email today that she plans to move the Office of Personnel and Finance back under the control of the assistant chief of administration.

She did not explain the change, which becomes effective Monday, in her email, and she could not immediately be reached for further comment. The office had been under the direct control of the police chief.

Chief McDonald said Thursday that the office -- one of two from which FBI agents removed documents last week -- is the target of a federal investigation.

FBI agents have not publicly disclosed what they are searching for, but Deputy Police Chief Paul Donaldson has said he believes they investigating whether money was misappropriated in the bureau.

Chief McDonald served as assistant chief of administration from April 2006 until city officials named her acting chief on Wednesday, shortly after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl asked for Chief Nate Harper's resignation. The mayor had just come from a two-hour interview with FBI agents.

Chief McDonald said personnel and finance reported to the assistant chief of administration until Chief Harper took control of the office in 2010 for reasons she did not know.

Chief McDonald placed three employees -- Officer Tonya Montgomery-Ford and civilians Tammy Davis and Kim Montgomery -- on paid administrative leave pending the end of the investigation.

Sandy Ganster, the manager of the personnel and finance office, is on a voluntary leave.

Also on Friday, Chief McDonald told the force that effective immediately, Major Crimes Commander Thomas Strangrecki will serve as acting assistant chief of administration and Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus will serve as acting Major Crimes commander.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1438.


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