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Pittsburgh mayor’s chief of staff Kevin Acklin to work for Peoples Gas

Bob Bauder
PTRACKLIN01012214
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Kevin Acklin, chief of staff for Mayor Bill Peduto, speaks with reporters and editors at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
PTRACKLIN01012214
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Kevin Acklin, chief of staff for Mayor Bill Peduto, speaks with reporters and editors at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin is going to work as chief legal counsel for North Shore-based Peoples Gas after he leaves city government in January.

Acklin, 41, said he accepted an offer from Peoples Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien after announcing plans to resign from Peduto’s administration two weeks ago. He will report directly to O’Brien.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for me, kind of a perfect opportunity because it complements my career,” Acklin said Thursday.

Acklin previously worked as a corporate attorney and said he would also be involved at Peoples in matters involving development, government affairs and community outreach.

He will remain as the chairman of the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority and continue to serve as Peduto’s appointment to a committee leading efforts to persuade Amazon to build its second headquarters in Pittsburgh.

O’Brien said he’s known Acklin for years. Acklin performed legal work for Duquesne Light when O’Brien headed that company.

“He was a young energetic guy, very smart,” O’Brien said. “I had a favorable impression of him.”

Peoples had been looking for a new top lawyer for several months when Acklin announced his resignation. O’Brien said he scheduled an interview with Acklin, and Peoples senior executives were impressed.

“Every one of them said we should offer him the job,” O’Brien said.

Acklin will be working with former Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who is vice president of sales and marketing at Peoples. Acklin and Ravenstahl battled each other in a 2009 race for Pittsburgh mayor, but Acklin said he anticipates a good working relationship with the former mayor.

“Before I made the offer to Kevin, I asked Luke,” O’Brien said. “He just said, ‘Kevin is a very smart guy with high integrity. I have absolutely no issues with Kevin, and I think we’ll work well together.’”

Ravenstahl could not be reached for comment.

Acklin will leave city government during the first week of January after Peduto is inaugurated for a second term Jan. 3. Peduto announced earlier this week that city Councilman Dan Gilman will replace Acklin.

Gilman, 35, who won election to a second four-year term in November, has said he will resign his council seat Jan. 3.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or @bobbauder.

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