Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl offered more details in a brief interview today about what federal authorities showed him during a two-hour meeting Wednesday that led him to believe his police bodyguards were not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Mr. Ravenstahl confirmed Thursday that the three officers - Sgt. Dom Sciulli, Sgt. Matthew J. Gauntner and Fred Crawford, who is now retired -- had debit cards linked to an unauthorized Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Union account that is now the subject of a federal investigation, but claimed the men had no knowledge the cards were linked to a non-city account. He said he'd seen evidence that the men only used the cards for city business.
But one of those men, Mr. Crawford, has contradicted the mayor, saying Mr. Ravenstal had full knowledge of the debit cards. Mr. Ravenstahl denied that again today, calling the Mr. Crawford "a disgruntled employee."
"Everything Fred said was a complete lie," the mayor said. "There is absolutely no truth to anything Fred Crawford said."
Mr. Ravenstahl said federal authorities showed him an "internal document" that listed charges for various debit cards issued from the unauthorized accounts. He concluded that the expenses made by the men were all for city business.
"I have seen and been provided, during my FBI conversation and conversation with the U.S. Attorney, records that showed me that there was no improper spending from my security officers," he said. "I want nothing more than to provide that to you ... so that all these questions can be answered."
Moriah Balingit: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee. First Published February 22, 2013 9:30 PM