Pittsburgh police offered free Santana tickets; Investigation underway



PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh'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 to attend the Santana-Rod Stewart concert at Consol Energy Center.

According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the police bureau has confirmed an email offering the tickets to Tuesday night's concert was sent to officers on May 21.

City ethics rules ban public employees from accepting tickets to athletic or cultural events worth more than $250 per year, and no more than $100 from a single gift giver. Each officer was allowed to request up to six tickets each. At $80 per seat, the retail gifted price would be $480.

So an officer who accepted two or more tickets could have violated the policy.

“We’re in the process now of creating a much more defined ethics code. We’ve started ethics training in our departments, and this is showing the need is definitely there,” Mayor Bill Peduto said Wednesday.

AEG Facilities, which manages the arena, said concert promoters will sometimes make free tickets available to first responders to shows that don't sell out. It wasn't clear how many officers, if any, received free tickets.

“We contacted the police department office and told them we had tickets available. Then they took it from there,” AEG General Manager Tim Hassett said.

Peduto said he will wait for all the information and reports until he takes any action.