Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb quietly launched a broad audit of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police last week, according to communications obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette under the state right-to-know law.
The controller’s office launched the performance audit — which, as opposed to a fiscal audit, can go beyond dollars — through an email of March 21 to acting police Chief Regina McDonald. The email said preliminary objectives include “secondary employment and staffing.” The first meeting with Chief McDonald occurred Wednesday.
Other communications between top controller’s office officials and top police brass show that auditors launched a review of the police Premium Pay Account on Feb. 8 by emailing bureau personnel and finance manager Sandra J. Ganster. On Feb. 9, Ms. Ganster brought her concerns about the alleged diversion of funds meant for that account to public safety director Michael Huss, her attorney has said. The alleged misapplication of funds meant for the account last week became the centerpiece of the criminal case against former police Chief Nate Harper.
“It does appear that our [inquiry] is what prompted a whistle-blower to step forward,” Controller Michael Lamb said. ”I think that the work that we’ve done has helped to unveil this scandal.”