Pittsburgh's URA to turn over documents to federal authorities

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The U.S. Attorney's Office subpoenaed Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority last week for documents, the authority said today in a statement that comes just one day after the authority board's chairman testified before a federal grand jury.

"On September 4, 2013, the URA was served with a subpoena to produce documents requested by the U.S. Attorney's office," the authority wrote in the statement. "We will comply with the subpoena but will not disclose the subject matter."

Tuesday, URA board chairman Yarone Zober, who also is Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's chief of staff, testified before a federal grand jury for about an hour and 15 minutes. He is the highest-ranking city official to testify in a probe that appears to be reaching ever closer to the mayor's office.

Federal investigators have looked into a URA contract with William Penn Parking of Green Tree, which was awarded leases to manage two publicly owned lots even though other companies offered a higher payments.

Robert Rubinstein, the authority's acting executive director since the middle of last year, declined comment today about the subpoena. Asked whether the public should be concerned about the authority, he said "There's nothing under my watch that worries me."

The Post-Gazette reported in June that Mr. Zober was involved in email discussions of the lease process and that the mayor was copied on some of those communications. Mr. Zober said he didn't recall why he or the mayor were looped in on communications.

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Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.


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