Pittsburgh taps ex-Wisconsin captain as its new police chief as last chief serves prision term

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: September 2, 2014 - 3:05 PM

PITTSBURGH — A former police captain from Wisconsin was named Tuesday as the new chief of police for Pittsburgh, six months after its last full-time chief was sent to prison for conspiring to divert city fees into an account he used partly as a personal slush fund.

Cameron McLay, 56, is expected to start work in Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, replacing acting Chief Regina McDonald.

Mayor William Peduto said McDonald had been a "steady hand for the police bureau during difficult times."

Former Police Chief Nate Harper resigned from office in February 2013, a month before he was charged with conspiracy to commit theft. He was sentenced in February this year to 18 months in prison and ordered to repay nearly $32,000 he spent on himself, including for meal and drink tabs at restaurants and bars.

McLay, who was not on hand for the mayor's announcement, spent the most of his 35-year law enforcement career with the Madison, Wisconsin, police department, which he joined in 1984, rising to the rank of captain before leaving in 2014.

"Cam McLay is exactly what Pittsburgh Police need in a leader — a person of integrity who believes in collaborating with city residents to reduce crime, and in building trust and sound judgment among his fellow officers," the mayor said in a prepared statement.

For the past year, McLay has worked as a contract consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, providing leadership development training to police and other public service organizations.

His hiring, which comes after two months of community meetings, is subject to approval by the Pittsburgh City Council.

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