Former Pittsburgh chief Harper gets delay on court motions

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Attorneys for former Pittsburgh police chief Nate Harper today requested, and received, an extension of the deadline for filing pre-trial motions in the corruption case against him, indicating in their motion that plea negotiations continue.

"The defendant and the government currently are engaged in plea negotiations but no plea agreement has been reached or signed by the parties at this time," wrote attorney Robert Leight in the motion submitted to U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

Assistant U.S. attorney Robert Cessar objected to the extension, according to the motion. Nonetheless, the judge promptly gave the sides until Sept. 10 to file any pretrial motions. Such extensions are common in federal court.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on the prosecution's objection to the extension.

Mr. Harper was indicted in March and charged with conspiracy and four counts of willful failure to file tax returns. He is accused of diverting around $30,000 in public money to his own personal uses. His attorneys have said he is cooperating with a federal investigation of city dealings and intends to plead guilty.

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Rich Lord:, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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