- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations is trying to determine if police bureau policies were violated when officers were offered up to six free tickets each for a Santana-Rod Stewart concert at Consol Energy Center.

The police bureau has confirmed an email offering the tickets to Tuesday night’s concert was sent to officers on May 21.

OMI investigates citizen complaints of police misconduct but doesn’t have the power to discipline officers. Rather, its recommendations are forwarded to police supervisors, who have the discretion to discipline officers - or not - as they see fit.

The tickets pose a potential problem because city ethics rules ban public employees from accepting tickets to athletic or cultural events worth more than $250 per year. The concert tickets ranged from $37.50 to $142.50, so an officer who accepted two top-price tickets could have violated the policy.

Tim Hassett, an official with AEG Facilities, which manages the arena, said concert promoters sometimes donate tickets to first responders if shows don’t sell out. The show reportedly drew about 13,000 people to the 18,000-seat arena, whose primary tenant is the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

It wasn’t clear how many officers, if any, received free tickets. Toler told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she couldn’t answer that question because of the investigation.

The email offering the 250 free tickets was sent by an officer “with permission of Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson,” according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/1knbuZJ ), which first reported the investigation. The email said officers could get up to six tickets each at the arena’s will-call window on a first-come basis.

Donaldson has declined comment, citing the OMI investigation.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com



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