Nathan Harper

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Nathan Harper
Alma mater Schenley High School
Awards Meritorious Service
Spirit of Life
Police career
Current status Retired
Department Pittsburgh Police
Country United States
Years of service 1977 (1977)-2013 (2013)
Rank 2006 (2006)-2013 (2013): Chief

Education and early career[edit]

Harper graduated from Schenley High School and was a resident of Stanton Heights, he joined the police bureau in 1977. He served as a patrol officer, K-9 officer and plainclothes investigator before being promoted to administrative positions, the narcotics unit and investigations. In the 1990s Harper spearheaded the formation of the city's Street Response Unit and was previously a Sergeant in the city's Traffic Division.

Later career and resignation[edit]

In November 2012 a city systems analyst and Alpha Outfitters are investigated for rigging a $337,000 police contract by bribing a public official, conspiracy and fraud, the city analyst later pleads guilty. Chief Harper at the time is determined by the mayor's office to not be connected to the crimes.[1]

On February 12, 2013 and subsequent days, the FBI and IRS seized boxes of documents from police headquarters and the independent police credit union concerning thousands of deposits and withdrawals of tax payer money from unauthorized accounts, including internal misappropriations.[2] At least one account dates back to 2004, prior to Chief Harper's tenure.[3][4] Chief Harper was interviewed twice by federal agents concerning both the credit union accounts and contract awards case.[5] Chief Harper was asked to resign due in part to the FBI and IRS investigations--and did so--on February 20, 2013.[6]

Federal charges[edit]

On February 25, 2014 Harper was sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiracy to commit theft from a federally funded program, and failure to file tax returns. U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon ordered Harper to pay restitution of $31,987 and to serve one year of probation following his release from prison.[7] Harper received a Federal Bureau of Prisons notification that he was assigned to a minimum security satellite camp at the medium security Federal Correctional Institution, Pekin, south of Peoria, Illinois. He had been ordered to report to the federal penitentiary by April 1, 2014.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Timeline of events that led to Nate Harper's resignation". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ Silver, Jonathan D.; Navratil, Liz (February 13, 2013). "FBI seizure of Pittsburgh police files linked to probe into use of funds". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Navratil, Liz; Silver, Jonathan (February 19, 2013). "Ravenstahl: Controversial police accounts had hundreds of transactions". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ Silver, Jonathan D.; Navratil, Liz (February 15, 2013). "FBI, IRS investigate account connected to Pittsburgh police chief's office". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ Navratil, Liz (February 21, 2013). "Union official: Rank-and-file 'surprised' at Pittsburgh police Chief Harper's departure". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ Moriah Balingit; Rich Lord; Jon Silver; Liz Navratil; Lexi Belculfine (February 20, 2013). "Harper asked to resign as Pittsburgh police chief". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Former Pittsburgh chief Harper gets 18-month prison sentence - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Former Pittsburgh police Chief Harper to report to prison by April 1 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 17, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Earl Woodyard
Pittsburgh Police Chief
Succeeded by
Regina McDonald