Ravenstahl: Pittsburgh police Chief Harper 'has my confidence'



Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said today he had confidence in Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper following the removal by FBI agents of documents from police headquarters as part of a federal grand jury investigation.

The mayor said he stands by his chief.

"I spoke with the chief as recently as today," the mayor said during an afternoon press conference in front of the City-County Building. "He pledged to me that nothing was done improper or wrong. I'm taking him at his word."

Exclusive: Mayor expresses support for police chief

Mayor Ravenstahl, in an exclusive interview, expressed confidence in Chief Nate Harper following the removal by FBI agents of documents from police headquarters as part of a federal grand jury investigation. (Video by Bob Donaldson; 2/13/2013)

The mayor said he was disturbed by a spate of recent issues brought to light by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette including the chief's involvement in a private business along with subordinates and his permission in in 2007-08 for a police sergeant -- now a commander --to work another full-time job in law enforcement.

"That does disturb me," the mayor said, referring to Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Eric Holmes' serving as interim public safety at Slippery Rock University. "We're determining whether or not that was legal. If that was legal, there's no way it is going to be legal in the future."

But he said the chief's position is secure.

"He has my confidence," the mayor said.

Mr. Ravenstahl said he has not asked Chief Harper to retire or resign and the chief has not offered either.

A reporter suggested to mayor that a significant number of police officers believe the bureau suffers from a leadership void.

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Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962. Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 and on Twitter: @liznavratil. First Published February 13, 2013 8:30 PM


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