Grand Jury Dissolved Without Indicting Ravenstahl

Aug 19, 2014

The federal grand jury, which heard evidence against then Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, has been dismissed without handing up any indictments against the mayor or anyone in his administration.

David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, would not comment on the development. Ravenstahl’s attorney Charles Porter Jr. could not be reached for comment. 

A previous grand jury handed down indictments against former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, who is currently serving an 18-month sentence for conspiracy and tax evasion. Harper misappropriated approximately $30,000 in funds that should have gone into city coffers by placing it into an unauthorized slush fund that was at his disposal.

The subsequent jury, which was dissolved Tuesday, heard testimony from several members of the Ravenstahl administration and those who had close dealings with the mayor.

The lack of action by the grand jury does not necessarily mean Ravenstahl and others in his administration will not face charges. Investigations could be ongoing by other agencies and a future grand jury could take up the matter.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton, confirmed the investigation without describing its scope or purpose earlier this year.

In the past, Ravenstahl and his attorney have denied wrongdoing or that he targeted in the investigation.