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Pittsburgh Mayor, Police Chief To Address Resignation Rumors

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Police Chief Cameron McLay have a joint press conference planned for Friday concerning the growing speculation and rumors that the chief might soon be resigning.

Ahead of the news conference, Mayor Peduto told KDKA-TV's Ralph Iannotti, "Instead of trying to address it through just me chasing around rumors, [Friday] morning we'll have both the chief, myself at the mayor's office and be able to answer all these questions."

McLay was appointed by Mayor Peduto just over two years ago to reshape the Police Bureau, and, among other things, try to improve relations, especially with minority communities.

Mayor Peduto said the city is blessed to have McLay as police chief.

"That rumor has been going around for about 18 months. The chief has my full backing. I know there was concern from the FOP earlier, but those concerns rest with me. Our goal is to build the trust within the in the rank and file. We've been meeting with the FOP every other week, the chief has been instituting some changes. I can say he has the trust of the people of Pittsburgh, and he certainly has my backing," Mayor Peduto said.

This summer, McLay came under fire for his appearance at the Democratic National Convention, where he addressed the convention to promote police-community relations, something Mayor Peduto has strongly advocated.

The chief was criticized by the police union, and he asked for an investigation into his DNC appearance.

The city cleared him of wrongdoing, but, the Independent Citizen Police Review Board said he violated city code, because he spoke at the convention while in uniform.

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The chief was additionally criticized after a controversial photo surfaced showing McLay holding a sign that read: "I resolve to challenge racism at work - end white silence."

More recently, McLay received a no confidence vote from more than half of the eligible members of the Fraternal Order of Police Union who cast ballots.

McLay brushed that vote off, saying it comes with the job.

But Mayor Peduto says McLay has been 100 percent effective.

"Number one was rebuilding the relationship with the community, number two was professionalizing the police bureau and restoring morale, and number three was using data driven techniques and technology into the bureau," the mayor said. "The chief's hit the ball out of the park on all three."

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