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Mayor Ravenstahl's truth problem

Pittsburgh's Boy Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, has developed an unfortunate habit of lying to the media:

I had a discussion with a Tribune-Review reporter at which time he asked me if I went on business to New York with the Penguins [actually team owner, Ron Burkle], at which time I said "no." Certainly, I wish I would have clarified it and continued to answer the question from there, but it was the only question asked and, uh, we went our separate ways. But if I could have been more clear at that point it would have been in everybody's best interest, mine included, at this point….

[Translation: "See, you asked if I went to New York 'on business,' and, see, technically, I wasn't 'on business,' I was actually sucking up to a Democratic Party king-maker.]

The issue here is whether Ravenstahl violated the city's Code of Conduct, which states:

No public official, City employee or agent of the City shall solicit or accept from an
interested party, nor shall an interested party offer or give anything of value to a public
official, City employee or agent, subject to the following exceptions:

  1. Gifts from direct family members;
  2. Non-pecuniary awards publicly presented, in recognition of public service;
  3. An occasional non-pecuniary gift of nominal value;
  4. Complimentary travel for official purposes;
  5. Admissions to charitable, civic, political or other public events;
  6. Admissions to cultural or athletic events not to exceed $250.00 per calendar
    year in the aggregate and $100.00 per calendar year from any single person,
    agent or other interested party; or
  7. Complimentary meals and/or refreshments.

Since the only exception that would seem to apply is #4—and the Mayor made it clear that the trip wasn't "on business"—it's hard to see how he hasn't violated the Code of Conduct.

Which reaises a number of interesting questions:

  • How can the Boy Mayor expect other city employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct when he open flauts it himself?
  • Why is the Mayor running unopposed for re-election?
  • Why has no major media outlet in Pittsburgh called for the Mayor's resignation?

Ah, the mysteries of Pittsburgh …

HT: Steve Maloney

Posted by Rodger on March 24, 2007 at 02:26 PM | Permalink


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