Columnist was quick to forgive Chief Harper's many crimes

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Having read Ruth Ann Dailey's March 25 column "Nate Harper: Fallen Chief, Penitent Human," I wonder if she regards herself a journalist or rather an apologist. If the allegations published in her own "fair and balanced" newspaper are true, Mr. Harper violated the law when he knowingly and willfully defrauded you, me and all taxpayers by using public funds over and over for his own personal benefit. Moreover, Mr. Harper defrauded all honest taxpaying citizens of the United States when he intentionally failed to file income tax returns for several years.

Ms. Dailey attempts to diminish Mr. Harper's sins by suggesting that we should worry more about "worse corruption yet to be discovered" than the sins to which Mr. Harper is now willing to plead guilty. I personally do not take Mr. Harper's willingness to plead guilty or his embarrassment for his actions as cause for forgiveness and understanding, the time for which shall be after Mr. Harper has paid his dues to society. Where would you personally draw the line on forgiveness if one is willing to accept guilt in the face of overwhelming evidence against them? Perhaps we should consider the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission worthy of such an understanding perspective or, even better, Jerry Sandusky of Penn State fame?

The readers of the Post-Gazette would be better served if Ms. Dailey would have pointed out that violation of the trust placed in someone in such high office as police chief is a serious sin worthy of punishment, belated regrets notwithstanding, rather than imply that Mr. Harper's sins are only a matter of the degree to which he stole taxpayers' money. The moral relativism expressed in her article is symptomatic of the inevitable decline this great nation faces.

STEPHEN R. STRELEC
Strip District


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