Nate Harper

A second person has been charged in the wake of an FBI investigation into a conspiracy to steal tens of thousands of dollars from the city that landed former Police Chief Nate Harper in prison.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has charged Tamara Davis, a civilian employee at the Bureau of Police, with theft and forgery. According to the affidavit, Davis stole approximately $9,165 and created fake invoices which the city paid.

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. 

Andrew Bardwell / Flickr

When it comes to selecting Pittsburgh’s new chief of police, Mayor Bill Peduto believes: “Haste in this situation would be at the greater loss of true reform.”

Peduto spoke to Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer Wednesday about the process of hiring a new police chief.

Former police chief Nate Harper resigned his position February 2013 while under investigation for creating an unauthorized slush fund, diverting public money and failing to pay income taxes – charges that ultimately led him to a sentence of 18 months in prison.

Assistant Chief Regina McDonald has been serving as interim chief.

However, the application process for a new chief only began a month ago. Peduto said that while Talent City works to find the best candidate in terms of professional qualifications, he is looking to residents to help with the hiring process.

Throughout the summer, the Public Safety councils in Pittsburgh’s six policing zones have been holding forums to hear input from residents about what they want in a chief of police.

Reporter Debrief on the Sentencing of Nate Harper

Feb 26, 2014
File Photo / 90.5 WESA

Former Pittsburgh Police Chief, Nate Harper, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to create an unauthorized slush fund.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon also ordered the 61-year-old Harper to repay $31,986 from the fund that he spent on himself.

90.5 WESA’s reporter Deanna Garcia says the sentencing was not surprising for most people, but Harper’s family and legal team were disappointed.

In the Case of Nate Harper, Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

Feb 26, 2014
University of Pittsburgh Law School

Roughly one year ago Nate Harper resigned from his post as Pittsburgh Police Chief. Soon after his resignation, Harper was indicted with conspiracy charges and failing to file tax returns.

Yesterday US District Judge Cathy Bissoon sentenced Harper to 18 months in prison as well as repayment of the $31,986 for the slush fund that he spent on himself.

File Photo / 90.5 WESA

Former Pittsburgh police chief Nathan Harper has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to create an unauthorized slush fund, diverting public money and failing to pay income taxes.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon also ordered 61-year-old Harper on Tuesday to repay $31,986 from the fund that he spent on himself.

An emotional Nate Harper addressed the court before hearing his sentence.

“I’m a broken man,” he said, adding that he’ll carry with him to his grave the embarrassment he said he caused his family and friends.

Former Pittsburgh police Chief Nathan Harper will plead guilty next month to federal charges that he conspired to steal city police funds deposited into unauthorized police credit union accounts.

Harper's attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment, but have said since Harper was indicted by a federal grand jury in March that the former chief intended to plead guilty.

On Tuesday, online federal court records show U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon scheduled an Oct. 18 hearing because she has "been advised that defendant wishes to plead guilty."

For more than a year, political leaders, bar and restaurant owners and community groups had been working on plans to start pairing off-duty and on-duty officers to patrol East Carson Street.

Currently, 20 establishments along East Carson employ 22 uniformed off-duty police officers to provide door security.

Following the indictment of former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper on theft of public funds, a public accounting firm will examine the city’s internal control structure when it comes to cash.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), a financial oversight board, approved $90,000 for an analysis by Gleason and Associates.

Chief Nate Harper Indictment

Mar 22, 2013
Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

  A federal grand jury, Friday indicted former Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper on charges of failure to file tax returns and diverting public money for his own use. Pittsburgh Tribune Review reporter Bobby Kerlik joins us to talk about the latest details of the case.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced a five-count indictment Friday against former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper. The charges range from conspiracy and theft of public funds to willful failure to file income tax returns.

It’s the result of a joint investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the IRS. Hickton said the first count is conspiracy to engage in the theft of public money through the diversion of funds to the Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

On Monday, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl told reporters he’s decided to leave the hiring of a new police chief to whomever the next Mayor will be. We'll talk with Elizabeth Township Chief of Police, Robert McNeilly about his experience as Pittsburgh police chief from 1996 to 2006; the pressures of the position, potential for corruption and the attributes to look for in a new chief. And Darrel Stephens Executive Director of Major Cities Chiefs Association talks about his experience as a police chief and consultant to cities like Pittsburgh.

Selecting a New Chief of Police

Feb 25, 2013
Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

When the police chief of a major U.S. city steps down, what challenges are involved in the selection of a new leader? We'll discuss this issue with Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement service that provides education and technical assistance to police departments throughout the country.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper resigned from his post late Wednesday afternoon after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl learned some confidential information from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding their investigation into Harper.  Ravensthal asked Harper to leave – and he did.

“It’s a sad day and one that has been tough for a lot of people but we’ll pick up the pieces and we’ll move on,” said Ravensthal on Wednesday evening speaking to a roomful of reporters.

Ravenstahl wouldn’t say what information he learned but he said it was enough.