Finance director says police chief told her to open secret account

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PITTSBURGH - An attorney for the woman who runs the personnel and finance department for the Pittsburgh Police is speaking out in defense of his client.

Sandy Ganster, who has been questioned by the FBI on two separate occasions, claimed she was told to divert an estimated $30,000 worth of city checks to a secret account at the Pittsburgh police's credit union.

Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle asked Ganster’s attorney Bill Difenderfer who told her to deposit the checks into that account.

“She was just listening to her boss and doing what he directed her to do,” Difenderfer said.

Difenderfer told Earle that while some funds from the account paid for police-related items like protective shields for officers during the G-20 Summit, he also said money was used for other things like a party at a downtown restaurant for an officer who was promoted to commander.

“When she ultimately learned of the promotion party she thought, in her mind, that it was questionable. Why would that be used for something like that?” Difenderfer said.

Ganster reported irregularities to public safety director Mike Huss last month days before the FBI raided the police department and confiscated boxes of documents.

According to Difenderfer, he’s speaking out because Ganster wasn’t allowed to return to work and has been placed on leave.

“If they were going to get at her for what she did and penalize her for what she did, that's wrong.  She's a great person.  She did the right thing,” Difenderfer said.