Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Regina McDonald said FBI agents interviewed her today and that people can expect to see changes in the bureau within the next week.
Chief McDonald, a 32-year veteran of the force, would not specify what those changes will be or comment on the futures of those working in the office being investigated by the FBI or involved in a side business with former Chief Nate Harper, who resigned Wednesday at the request of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
She said her primary goal will be to reestablish the ethics and integrity of the bureau.
"I guess you depend on the integrity of the people you put in various positions," Chief McDonald said.
Sometimes people misjudge, she said, adding that she wasn't sure how the bureau ended up in its current state.
Chief McDonald today placed Officer Tonya Montgomery-Ford and civilians Tammy Davis and Kim Montgomery on paid administrative leave today, her first day as acting chief.
Officer Ford and Ms. Davis are listed as organizers on state documents filed to create Diverse Public Safety Consultants, a company also organized by Mr. Harper, Sgt. Barry Budd and Zone 2 Commander Eric Holmes last year. Mr. Harper has said the company did not bring in any revenue but was being set up in advance of his retirement.
Ms. Montgomery is Officer Montgomery-Ford's mother and a high school classmate of Mr. Harper.
In 2011, the bureau twice hired a firm called D&T Enterprises, a company also associated with Officer Montgomery-Ford, to provide goods and services for which it paid a total of $7,037, according to city records.
An invoice from D&T Enterprise Catering by Kim, for $1,350, indicated that the bureau ordered six dinners for 30 people each for its G.R.E.A.T. Family Training program. The cell number listed on the invoice is held by a Kim Montgomery, who previously declined comment.
FBI agents removed documents last week from the special events and personnel and finance offices in the bureau's North Side headquarters in what Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said he thought was a probe into whether funds had been misappropriated internally.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned that a check from the University of Pittsburgh meant to pay for officers was deposited into an account at the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union.
Chief McDonald said she did not know how many accounts associated with the bureau were maintained at the credit union or who had access to them.
"I'm not the target," she said. "The target is personnel and finance."
The personnel and finance office reported to the assistant chief of administration, Chief McDonald's position since 2004, until Mr. Harper decided in 2010 that the office should report directly to him.
Chief McDonald said she was not sure why that change occurred.
She also said she did not know which people were specific targets pf the FBI's investigation.
She said she did not know who all had cards associated with credit union accounts or how much money passed through the accounts.
She would not comment on when she found out about the accounts, saying she did not want to jeopardize an investigation.
She said she thought two other members of the command staff had also spoken to the FBI but would not name them.
She said she did not receive a subpoena but met freely with the FBI.
Police union officials have said they were shocked by the sudden resignation of Mr. Harper and appointment of Chief McDonald to replace him until a permanent successor is named. Chief McDonald said she expects Deputy Chief Donaldson to help her when he returns from vacation.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1438 and on Twitter: @liznavratil. First Published February 21, 2013 9:30 PM