Sources tell Allvoices that Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is expected to announce later today that he may not be running for re-election, or possibly stepping down as Mayor. Another source in the mayor’s office would not say what Ravenstahl will say at the expected news conference this afternoon.
Just last Tuesday Ravenstahl announced his bid for re-election, which is expected to be a hotly-contested campaign against current City Controller Michael Lamb. In the last few weeks, the Pittsburgh Police Department and its credit union have come under intense scrutiny from federal investigators over the mishandling and possible diversion of funds in hundreds of accounts.
At a Feb.20 news conference, Ravenstahl said he was not a target in the federal probe. The news conference was called to announce the forced-resignation of then-police chief Nate Harper who is targeted in the investigation.
The mayor has missed several scheduled appearances over the last few days, however, and no one from his office is saying why.
UPDATE: According to several scoures Ravenstahl will be holding a news conference at 1:00 pm where he will announce his furure plans in city government. It is widely-spectualed that he will either not seek re-election or announce his resignation.
It has been widely-reported that over the last few days, Ravenstahl has been increasingly concerned for his mother who is reported to have breast cancer. However, a source in city government has said, the Mayor has been increasingly concerned over the federal probe into the mishandling of police funds and this probe has was recently extended outside the police department.
UPDATE 9:00 pm - After a day of waiting and with no communication from Ravenstahl, he was seen leaving his office a little after 4:00 pm. The Mayor's strange behavior today; not wanting to confirm or deny reports that he planned to hold a news conference today, and leaving reporters waiting, has just added to the confusion as to what his future plans in city government will be, and why he has been absent at recent political events. Multiple sources told reporters to expect a news conference at 1:00 pm today where the Mayor would make a major announcement about either resigning or not seeking reelection.
Sources with information into the investigation over the misuse or diversion of funds have told Allvoices that the Mayor’s statement that he was not a target of the federal probe may not be accurate.
The Chairman of the State Democratic Committee, Jim Burns told a reporter from KDKA that the Mayor will probably not resign. However, Burns admitted later that he has not talked directly with the Mayor. Also his successor, should he resign, City Council President Darlene Harris was refused an audience with the Mayor earlier today.