Feds: Pittsburgh ex-chief sentenced to prison for slush fund won't face bidding scam charges

The Associated Press

Former Pittsburgh police chief Nathan Harper, right, who pleaded guilty to stealing police funds by depositing them into unauthorized credit union accounts, leaves federal court in Pittsburgh with his wife, Cynthia Harper, center, and his attorney Robert Del Greco, left, after being sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Harper, 61, also was ordered to repay $31,986 that he took from the fund for himself, including meals and drink tabs at various restaurants and bars. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh's top federal prosecutor says the city's former police chief won't be charged in a scheme that helped his former friend land a $327,000 contract to install radios and computers in city police cars.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton says "the facts, the evidence and good sense" led to his decision not to charge Nathan Harper in the scheme. Hickton's remarks came hours after the 61-year-old former chief was sentenced to 18 months in prison for spending nearly $32,000 from a secret police slush fund and not filing tax returns from 2008 to 2011.

Harper's former friend Arthur Bedway and a former city computer worker are serving probation for the 2007 bid-rigging scam. Both claim the scheme was Harper's idea and that his cut was $9,000. Harper has repeatedly denied any involvement.

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