Thursday, January 18, 2007

Luke "Handcuffs" Ravenstahl?

Over at his blog, John McIntire is throwing around some weighty speculation about an October 2005 incident involving then-Councilmember (and current Interim Mayor) Luke Ravenstahl being taken into custody for assaulting a city police officer. The end result, or so the rumor goes, is that Dennis Regan played a key role in getting the cop to remove Master Ravenstahl's handcuffs and prevented the case from proceeding any further.

I have no idea whether any of these rumors are true. If they are, I assume that they would have spread far and wide within the police ranks by now. And if the story is widely known among all of the cops in this city, it must have been passed along to any number of reporters. According to McIntire, a number of news outlets are aware of the story and are working like mad to break it first.

I'm not so sure. I personally think that if this story was in any way confirmable, it would have broken quite some time ago. Maybe not when Master Ravenstahl was elected by his colleagues as City Council President, but certainly when it became clear that he might end up becoming mayor. Or when when his elevation to mayor was imminent. Or shortly after he took office. Or after Mr. Regan's appointment as Director of Public Safety blew up in the Mayor's face. Of after Mr. Regan and Catherine McNeilly were suspended. Or after Mr. Regan resigned. Or after Ms. McNeilly was demoted. Or after last week's court decision which restored Ms. McNeilly to her old rank. Or... well, the point is that there have been a bunch of excellent opportunities for the news media to break this story, but it hasn't happened.

It must be said that this rumor, if true, does explain much of the Interim Mayor's actions concerning Dennis Regan. Many of the comments which have been posted on this blog and others -- usually anonymously -- have suggested that Dennis Regan "has something" on Master Ravenstahl. I've never given those suggestions much credence. At most, I figured that the two of them may have made some kind of verbal agreement when Mr. Regan resigned from city government; Mr. Regan agreed to resign, and Master Ravenstahl agreed not to bad-mouth him after he was gone. I was even willing to give Interim Mayor Ravenstahl some credit for sticking by such an agreement, when there was nothing that bound him to it and recent events have made it much more difficult to claim that Mr. Regan did nothing wrong. But maybe -- and I'm not saying that these rumors are true -- but maybe there really is something that has been forcing Luke Ravenstahl to keep his end of the bargain.

I don't know that any of this contains a hint of truth. I rather suspect that it either isn't true, or -- if it is true -- cannot be independantly confirmed well enough be reported by the press. At the moment, we have nothing more than vicious rumors and idle speculation. We'll just have to see what the future brings.

I can say that I would feel much more comfortable with this rumor, and more comfortable blogging about it, if it had come from some other source. As Bram Reichbaum mentions over at the Pittsburgh Comet, this post does come at a time when John McIntire, out of work and seeking a new contract with a local talk radio station, could make very good use of a little buzz and attention from the Burghosphere. And it comes just a few days after MacYapper made some way-over-the-line comments about having a sexual liason with the newly-widowed Betty Ford after her husband's funeral. Joking about something like that makes it seem much more plausible that MacYapper is absolutely ravenous for attention.

It's hard to know what to believe. But the next few months will answer that question far better than I ever could.


Anonymous said...

The rumor of this incident has spread through the police department and beyond. Names have even been given to the officers "allegedly" subjected to Luke's misbehavior.

Another rumor is that the officers involved in the incident are fearful of "snitching" because they fear retaliation by Luke & co. Of course, the media won't break the story until they get some brave soul to come forward. (They can probably picture Luke proudly demoting them just after they reveal what Luke will declare "confidential" information.) It may be that the story won't be broken until the ACLU takes statements from officers in support of its claim that Regan engaged in a pattern of interference in police operations.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I think that the MacYapper was saying that the MSM (main stream media) was working hard to NOT break the "story."

MacYapper broke it. He gets the credit -- and the blame.

Now that we're just a dime a dozen -- that's my $.02 worth.

In August, I was out of town. That's my story, and I'm stiking to it.

Richmond K. Turner said...

Sure Mark, but where were you on Halloween 2005? Probably at Heinz Field, pushing poor innocent Luke Ravenstahl into that mean old police officer.

But MacYapper definitely does say that he expects the MSM to break the story soon...

So according to this version, which some news outlet, broadcast or print (they're all dying to break it first) will break soon, Dennie Regan put the fix in to make Opie shoving the cop thing go away.



Could be any of the three TV. Could be the P.G. Not sure how hot the Trib is on this baby.