Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Whacky Business of Pittsburgh Politics

By Mike Ference, a.k.a. The Mon Dawn
I think Pittsburgh City Council should hold off trying to appoint an ethics committee. I’m afraid that too many elected officials in the commonwealth of PA can not accurately select such a person. One must only glance at recent headlines of former PA Gaming Commission officers, employees and thugs who have severely stained the agency’s reputation for many years to come with their alleged criminal behavior.

Similar headlines have also tarnished (albeit an already tarnished image of law enforcement and politics) Mon Valley Municipal Government’s ability to select Police Chiefs in at least two municipalities where they have been investigated and determined to be criminals (how many more Mon Valley police chiefs are under investigation or need to be investigated still remains to be determined).

Let’s not leave out the County Sheriff’s office that recently said farewell to two long-time, top-level police officers so they could learn the skill of crafting license plates. Not to mention Sheriff DeFazio’s refusal to answer questions in front of a federal grand jury, claiming the fifth amendment as a legitimate reason to do so. Last time I tried that fifth amendment stuff to protect an associate in the 12th grade I got whacked with a paddle. Perhaps, Sheriff DeFazio fears the same recourse.

So you see, maybe, just maybe Pittsburgh Council should adopt and wait and see attitude before launching into a search for an ethics committee. Sad to say, politicians just don’t seem to have a large enough network when it comes to finding decent human beings to help with the day-to-day business of keeping crime out of our government.

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