Remember the questions raised over Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's use of a police SUV paid for with federal Homeland Security money? Tonight the mayor says that he's paying about $150 to put the matter behind him.
Ravenstahl used the GMC Yukon -- intended for the city's police intelligence unit -- to take friends to a concert, among other things. The mayor's office says Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) found that the cost of the mayor using the SUV was minimal. Ravenstahl has written a personal check to the state for $145.50 to cover the cost of the 300 miles he put on the vehicle.
I'd blogged here about Federal Emergency Management officials telling the state to look into the matter. The Yukon was purchased under the federal "Buffer Zone Protection Program". That means it's to be used to "protect and secure critical infrastructure and key resource sites across the country". The mayor and Police Chief Nate Harper fielded reporter questions on this last fall.
The mayor's office e-mailed its announcement shortly before 5:00 PM on Friday. No PEMA or federal officials were available for comment. You can check out the news release below.
I noticed the news release letterhead is now bears a copyright by the mayor's office. I'm sure that with "fair use" exemptions there's no problem reproducing it here.