Dear Lukey,

I need to talk to you about something you did that brings to mind words like “stabbity” or “sporky” or “gross misuse of tax-payer dollah dollah bills.”

I like that last one.

It’s street. Like you apparently are if you need three bodyguards earning over $200,000 in overtime pay in two years just to protect you from, well, I don’t know what.

Yourself? The pigeons? Potholes? Peduto? Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers and then decided to accost you on the streets of Pittsburgh?

You are Luke Ravenstahl, the mayor of Pittsburgh. There are countless people on earth more threatened than you who do not have your level of publicly-funded 24-hour protection. Attorney Generals. Criminal defense lawyers. Abortion doctors. Yet you’ve managed to rack up more overtime pay for security detail in two years than Mayor Murphy did in TWELVE YEARS, according to Bill Peduto. That’s almost comical.

Keep in mind that I’ve had dealings with both Mayors Murphy and O’Connor and county executive Dan Onorato, and I have had interactions with each of their security details. Yours is by FAR the most posse-like. I’m not going to get into details here about the differences between administrations, because that’s actually not the point of my letter to you.

My point is that you were asked by KDKA to go on record about this gross abuse of overtime pay by your security detail and you said, and I quote, “It’s not a story.”

I beg to differ.

Here’s why it’s a story. Because of the faltering pension. Because of your threats to cut overtime pay for regular hard-working cops while your elite security detail is taking baths in cold hard cash. Because of the supposed reason you cut the South Side patrols that were doing an effective job of cutting down on what makes the South Side turn into Sodom and Gomorrah each weekend.

We the people are not stupid. We know the real reason you cut the South Side patrols. Because you were angry that Kraus wouldn’t support your parking lease plan after you met with him to ask him to. If I were outlining the story, it  would go like this: South Side patrols are working four weekends in a row. The police announce the patrols are working and that they will continue. You meet with Kraus, Shields and others to ask support of the lease plan. Kraus says no. Nate Harper suddenly, mysteriously, out of the blue cuts South Side patrols claiming:

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard, repeating the explanation she gave last week, said the city’s yearly pool of money for special details is dwindling. Some, she said, has to be kept in reserve for emergencies.

You see? Forgetting for a minute the likely real reason the South Side patrols were canceled, what you’re saying is that there’s not enough money to protect the residents of the South Side from drunken escapades, illegal parking, property destruction and public urination, but there’s plenty to keep you all posse-ed up with the constant companions you call “security.”

That is a story.

It’s a story of entitlement, perceived celebrity status, tax dollar misuse, overtime abuse, and political fighting that detrimentally affected the South Side residents.  Each of those is a story standing all by itself, and together?

Big story. Calling it a non-story is an insult to the taxpayers whose dollars you’re spending, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. Transparency, ethical leadership, and accountability will.




  1. Dan (Not Onorato)
    November 30, 2010 2:02 pm

    Fetterman is his OWN security detail. He would have had the City’s $16 million from the G-20 in the bank already

  2. Gossip Boy
    November 30, 2010 2:53 pm

    Recently I attended a meeting where Young Luke spoke to our group. Not only did he show up with his security detail (only 1 guy), but he brought his son, Connor. During the meeting, the security guy ended up taking Connor out of the meeting and babysitting. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. Not only do they provide security, but they babysit for the Young Luke’s heir!

  3. lover of the burg
    November 30, 2010 3:58 pm

    i recently saw lukey at a charity fundraiser, posse and girls included.

  4. Clementine
    November 30, 2010 7:41 pm

    In further news, the Mayor has appointed Mr. Cooper Ravenstahl to the Water and Sewer Authority. In making the announcement, the Mayor praised young Cooper for his years of experience in making both water and sewage, including his innovative use of the double-diaper system to manage overflow. Mr. Cooper Ravenstahl will immediately be assigned a three-person security detail to assist with feeding, bathing and implementation of said diaper system. One security member will also serve part-time as a booster seat/ slash / high chair at public functions.

  5. betoon
    November 30, 2010 8:40 pm

    Okay this really dates me, but I used to see Pete Flaherty jogging down Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside when I lived there. I was a slow jogger and he regularly passed me and I never saw anyone tailing him, and believe me I was always keeping my eyes open because those were not safe times for women in that area of the city. With problems with the pension plan, horrific roads – especially in the winter, and talks about laying off police and firemen – there is no excuse for paying for that much security. Don’t go out if you’re that paranoid. Pull a Howard Hughes and stay in a room somewhere. Just recently saw Dermody at a very angry meeting about the Port Authority. No security – just a guy with a clip board.

  6. Sleemo
    December 1, 2010 11:37 am

    “Abortion doctors”??? Really? Does that make my neurologist a “spinal-tap doctor”?

    Doctors perform procedures–LEGAL procedures. They are not defined by the procedures that they perform.

  7. Sexy Jesus
    December 2, 2010 12:46 am

    You have it all wrong. The security detail provides a valuable service. Once Lukey was without his detail and accidentally walked into a library. Inside, he found books and maps and newspapers from around the world the made him feel small, less significant and worldly. He never wanted to experience that feeling again, so he mostly sticks to douche bars (downtown has more than a few) and brings his security with him to ensure that there are no further mishaps, whether sober or not.

    P.S. – the moral of this story is that (citizens of PGH) your mayor is dumb and, unfortunately, that reflects on more than the dumb few of you keep voting for him (or worse, hate him and don’t vote). /diatribe