Using the state’s Right-to-Know Law, designed to enable citizens to access public records, PublicSource filed requests for emails by providing names of city employees, keywords and a time period to enable the city to locate the public records. The city has repeatedly denied the requests, arguing that they’re too vague.
The FBI today said it is not currently investigating the City of Pittsburgh’s relationship with B-Three Solutions.
PublicSource reported on Feb. 14 that former Chief of Police Cameron McLay referred concerns about the possibility of improper ties between city staff and the Plum-based contractor to the FBI in November 2015. When McLay resigned a year later, that investigation was active, McLay said in a statement.
Some members of city council struggle to recall B-Three Solutions or what the company has done for the city. B-Three has been commissioned to build the police bureau’s flagship data system and several related projects along with programs for the Department of Finance and the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections. The city has paid B-Three about $4.3 million since late 2009.
Updated 2/20/18: The FBI confirmed to PublicSource that it does not have an open investigation into the city's relationship with B-Three. A Pittsburgh police officer filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming he faced retaliation for raising alarms about potential “waste and wrongdoing” at the police bureau. Being vocal about alleged problems with police software projects put him in the crosshairs of one of the city’s most influential Public Safety officials. As a result, Souroth Chatterji, a native of India, became the subject of threats and racism within the bureau, according to a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court. Chatterji filed the lawsuit against Deputy Public Safety Director Linda Rosato-Barone and the City of Pittsburgh.
Since 2012, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police recovered more than 3,600 guns from suspects, and roughly 2,600 of those firearms are believed to have been carried illegally, according to a PublicSource analysis of police data. That’s the most detailed account to date on the scope of Pittsburgh’s illegal gun market. But it’s incomplete.
Pittsburgh’s mayor and its controller are calling for policy changes in response to a PublicSource investigation showing that a no-bid, $1.5 million police body camera contract with Axon Enterprise was ushered to city officials by a police commander with financial ties to the company.
More than 4,700 pages of printed emails between Trapp and Axon representatives — provided to PublicSource through a records request with the City of Pittsburgh — show that Trapp became increasingly close with Axon over the years, and eventually helped to close Pittsburgh’s $1.5 million body camera contract for the company.
The close relationship between Commander Clarence “Ed” Trappand Axon raises questions about whether Trapp was acting in the best interest of taxpayers as he helped to negotiate with the company for the purchase of body cameras for Pittsburgh's police.