The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

September 13, 2013

Pgh. mayor denies wrongdoing

PITTSBURGH — In his first comments to the media since his chief of staff testified before a federal grand jury this week, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl insisted he’s done nothing illegal.

Ravenstahl spoke with re­porters Thursday, two days after Chief of Staff Yarone Zober testified before the grand jury for about 75 minutes.

A federal investigation is believed to involve whether Ravenstahl, 33, wrongly used his bodyguards after hours or used his political influence to help supporters.

The mayor has not been charged with any crimes, and his attorney has denied Ravenstahl is even a target of the months-long investigation, which federal prosecutors won’t detail.

Speaking about Zober’s testimony, Ravenstahl said, “I and we have done nothing wrong and I’m confident that’ll come out in the end.”

Another grand jury witness was believed to be the mayor’s girlfriend. In an interview Thurs­day with KDKA-TV, Raven­stahl acknowledged the grand jury investigation “has, in many cases, crossed the line into the personal life. Perhaps there’s a lot of interest there; I’m not sure what that has to do with any sort of wrongdoing.”

As to federal investigators, the mayor told reporters, “They continue to ask questions and we continue to cooperate.”

 

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