Written by The New Pittsburgh Courier
NATHAN E. HARPER
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh police Chief Nathan E. Harper helped form a private security consulting firm with a civilian clerk and three city officers, including one he promoted from sergeant to commander, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.
Harper, 59, told the Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/VXGl1g ) that he agreed to join Diverse Public Safety Consultants LLC last year but did not initiate it.
He noted the company was not active and said it was formed merely to preserve its corporate name. He said he planned to work there after retirement.
"When they asked me about doing consulting work, I said, 'Yeah, I agree to do some consulting work,'" Harper said.
The chief told the newspaper he did not know the company's website was up and running, though it was taken down Wednesday after reporters asked about it. The website said the company's services included training security guards, doing background checks, protecting people and supplying interim police chiefs.
Public safety officials and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office said they were unaware of the business before being contacted by the newspaper.
Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board, said the business relationship between the chief and his underlings was "an unethical relationship" and "completely inappropriate."
Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com