Ravenstahl just a witness in police probe, says his private attorney

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Prominent defense attorney Charles Porter said Saturday that he is representing Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in connection with a federal investigation of the city's Bureau of Police and emphasized that the mayor is only a witness.

Mr. Porter confirmed that he accompanied Mr. Ravenstahl, along with a city attorney, on Feb. 20 to a meeting with representatives of the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office.

"He was advised that he was a fact witness," said Mr. Porter. "I routinely represent witnesses. I can't discuss, obviously, the contents of anything."

He also declined to disclose the payment arrangement he has with the mayor, other than noting that the city is not paying for his services.

Mr. Porter said he "made the effort to reach out to the U.S. attorney's office [Friday] and was advised that nothing was changed, that [Mr. Ravenstahl] was a witness."

The mayor's statements about the FBI meeting have suggested that a subject was the federal probe of the flow of money meant to pay for police secondary detail work into the police federal credit union, and the use by police bureau employees of debit cards tied to one account.

Mr. Porter said he also represents Kathleen Bowman, CEO of Victory Security, a Carnegie-based firm that is mentioned in court documents describing the case against Arthur Bedway.

Mr. Bedway, 63, of Robinson, who has also been associated with Victory Security, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he conspired with and bribed former city systems analyst Christine Kebr to get a $337,000 contract to install and maintain radios and computers in city police cars for the firm Alpha Outfitters. Prosecutors have said that one meeting related to the contract occurred at Victory Security's offices.

Mr. Porter said Ms. Bowman is a witness in that case. He said the credit union investigation and the Alpha Outfitters case are separate, and that the U.S. attorney's office has told him that it does not view his representation of one witness in each matter as a conflict of interest.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord.


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