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Created on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:33 Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:33 Published on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:33 Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer Hits: 884
WARNER MACKLIN III
Last week the New Pittsburgh Courier received a package of documents regarding the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police from an anonymous source. The documents raise questions about everything from the unauthorized account opened at Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union to moonlighting and implicates a slew of officers and the police administration.
While focus was originally placed on former Police Chief Nate Harper, and officers engaged in a side business with him, these documents suggest corruption at varying levels of the bureau. However, even though the spotlight has moved away from Harper, three police personnel originally linked to him, Officer Tonya Ford, her mother Kim Montgomery, and Tamara Davis remain on administrative leave.
“Right now we’re glad that everything is quiet. There are a lot of other issues that are being uncovered. And we’re glad my three clients are not the focus of any of those issues,” said Warner Macklin, spokesperson for the three women. “We’re still wondering why my clients are still off from work. We haven’t received any information why any of them are off from work.”
Some speculated the three women were suspended for their involvement in side businesses, but the documents provided to the Courier show evidence of several side businesses owned by other officers. According to the bureau, officers are not prohibited from having side businesses.
“Yes, as long as the outside business is not a conflict of interest with the Bureau’s Secondary Employment Policies and Procedures” wrote Police Spokesperson Diane Richard in an email response to the Courier. “Yes, employee may engage in off-duty outside employment that will not require the use or potential use of law enforcement powers; and where outside employment presents no potential conflict of interest between the primary duty as an officer and the duties required by the outside employer; and where the outside employment does not constitute a threat to the status or dignity of the police as a professional occupation.”
According to the documents, businesses owned and/or operated by police officers may have contracted for city business. The company L&N Security Services Inc., operated by Officer Martin Link and retired Officer Daniel Novak, was used to coordinate a helicopter lift in February according to an operational order.
Similarly, D&T Enterprises, which is owned by suspended officer Ford and her mother, provided catering at a police event. And city officers sometimes received self-defense training at Wright’s Gym, owned by Officer Dave Wright.
So what is the bureau’s policy on using an officer’s side business for services such as training, catering or security? Would it be a conflict of interest?
“This depends on the event in question. Some would be subject to a bid process in assurance that there is an approved contract with the City. However, other events that would utilize non-tax dollars would not be held to those restrictions,” Richard said. “The Police Bureau would not hire a security firm to perform the duties of a certified police officer.”
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office is looking into four side businesses involving four Pittsburgh officers, but only to determine whether the businesses should have private detective licenses. The four businesses owned by four separate officers include L&N Security Services Inc., Kincaid Security LLC, Pittsburgh Collision Reconstruction Services LLC and Evans Polygraph Services Inc.
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