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Created on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:24 Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:24 Published on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:24 Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer Hits: 4439
Last week, newly appointed Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Regina McDonald placed one officer and two police employees on administrative leave for unspecified reasons. Officer Tonya Ford, her mother Kim Montgomery, and Tamara Davis were linked to an outside business with recently ousted Police Chief Nate Harper, but it is unknown if this connection is the cause of the three women’s suspension.
“I am disappointed by recent events taking place in the City of Pittsburgh Police Department. I’ve always been dedicated to my duties of protecting the residents as a law enforcement officer while working in the community and conducting youth initiatives. I’m very eager to return back to work,” Ford said. “I will fully cooperate with any federal or city authority during this investigation. I want to say thank you to my family, friends, and brothers and sisters on the force for their unyielding support. My faith in God has and will continue to serve me well during this time.”
The three women came under scrutiny in the past few weeks for their connection to Diverse Public Safety Consultants LLC, a company founded by colleagues Harper, Cmdr. Eric Holmes, Sgt. Barry Budd, Ford and Davis. While some criticized Harper for forming a business with his subordinates, the company has not generated any revenue and was not operational. While the three women involved in the company have been suspended and Harper was forced to retire, disciplinary action has not been taken against Holmes or Budd.
“I am hurt by events taking place surrounding the police department. I’ve always worked hard in my various duties with the police department for the tax-payers of the City of Pittsburgh and can’t wait to get back to work,” said Davis. “I have fully cooperated with all federal authorities in this matter. And I thank my family and friends for their support.”
Last week, FBI agents questioned Davis, who is a civilian working in the personnel and finance office. This office is the target of the investigation as the FBI is looking into looking into allegations that money was misappropriated within the bureau.
Ford and her mother Montgomery were additionally criticized for their company D&T Enterprises, which was paid by the bureau to cater a police event. Ford’s business, Police Memories, has also sold t-shirts and other memorabilia to the bureau.
While there is no proof of impropriety regarding Diverse Public Safety Consultants LLC or contracts awarded to D&T Enterprises, the Police Memories business does violate the city ethics code. According to the code employees are prohibited “from using official title, insignia or position in connection with any private business from which the public official or city employee receives compensation.”
The three women have each hired an attorney to represent them and have also acquired the services of Warner Macklin, a crisis management and communications consultant who is serving as their spokesperson and media representative.
“I am saddened by the events taking place surrounding the police department and other city offices. However I have always focused on my duties as a data-entry clerk for the police department and look forward to returning to my duties as soon as possible.” Montgomery said. “I look forward to fully cooperating with the authorities in this matter. My faith in God and the love and support of my family and friends will see me through.”
Diane Richard, police spokesperson, said the bureau would not be releasing a statement on the three women placed on administrative leave because the investigation was ongoing. However, it is unclear why the three women are being investigated and whether it is related to the FBI investigation regarding Harper.
Harper was originally being investigated for his connection to a city contract with a firm that was paid to install radios and computers into Pittsburgh police cars. However, investigators have since been looking into a private account set up at the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union. Their early findings indicate the account contained city funds.
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