school board wants to examine contracts
Posted in the McKeesport Forum
#1 Nov 23, 2012
A call for "fresh eyes" to review "construction matters" in the McKeesport Area School District did not pass without controversy.
At October's meeting, the school board discussed at length a motion to authorize an outside law firm to investigate district construction projects, although school directors declined to specify publicly what matters were in question, citing the potential for litigation.
School Director Trisha Gadson called for "fresh eyes" from a third party to review what she called certain matters that have come to the board's attention over the past weeks, citing an "increased level of concern on behalf of the community."
Read the full story here:
#2 Nov 23, 2012
First, School Director Gadson is to be commended for spearheading the need for an investigation into the tangled construction program. She may have stirred up a real hornets nest. I would anticipate legal action by more than one involved entity looming in the future.
The MASD has a history of construction contract related controversies. This goes back to board members, Tedesco, Carter, Gergely and their colleagues and their mysterious hiring of Mon Valley Construction Management years ago.
MVCM collected up front money like PPM for unknown reasons. MVCM was rapidly created when they knew an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly. Like, PPM they were not the lowest bidder, but were connected to the power block on the MASD. They won the contract hands down. The PPM business model was like MVCM pay me a bundle up front!
A major player and part owner of MVCM were and is Attorney George Gobel. At one time he was the solicitor for MASD and is now solicitor for McKeesport Redevelopment Authority, Hearing and Zoning Board, and MACM. According to public PA labor department records, MVCM is still active and he is involved.
Rumor has it that Council majority may turn to Attorney Gobel to replace the present solicitor if he is disqualified after his non-jury trial on December 19
Mr. Gobel was a significant contributor to City elected officials which is documented on the Allegheny County website. There is nothing illegal about this but it has the odor of pay for play.
He shares city office space with the beleaguered City Solicitor and is responsible for the monthly lease payments. The beleaguered City Solicitor appears to be getting a free ride thanks to the mayor and Gobel?
Like Director Gadson, former Director Barb Stevenson attempted to expose MVCM and demanded a report on their activities. She was stonewalled by the board and administration. MVCM earned and walked with over $450,000 from this deal years ago.
We wish you good luck and persistence in your endeavor Ms. Gadson. Thank you for a much needed public service, but beware of unexpected and bizarre resistance!
#3 Nov 23, 2012
#4 Nov 23, 2012
What is next?
I would like to think that Attorney Weiss is now working on his 40 hour cap agreement. He should have it complete for the next meeting.
I would hope and pray the report is available and presented at the next MASD school board meeting by Director Gadson with recommended follow up actions.
But, I predict others will treat it as confidential due to a pending investigation, block it, and prevent Ms. Gadson from revealing the truth. It will be buried forever.
Only the next meeting will reveal the extent and vigor of a cover up like the Cornell School sex scandal.
#5 Nov 23, 2012
It's the perfect storm brewing. Anyone connected with corruption and criminal behavior is a target. Sometimes the feds craft a plan so politicians will commit criminal acts in public and then have them answer for the criminal behavior months down the road.
Be careful of Tom C, he has FBI clearance and will do anything to stay out of the slammer. Funny how he was a juvenile officer at one time. He would have been one of the cops used to investigate child sex abuse and any complaints about a child/sex/drug ring.
#6 Nov 23, 2012
Is this what happened to the beleaguered Clairton's Ralph Imbrogno and the late Dr. Risha?
Ralph will have his day of reckoning on December 6. The late Dr. Risha will not be available.
Tom may have a clearance but he was not a favorite of a former Allegheny County Sheriff who was his boss at the time and then was forced to resign under pressure.
#7 Nov 23, 2012
The feds are good at teaching old dems new tricks, I'm told Ralph is very good at rolling over and speaking.
Tom may get his chance to do the same. The feds don't like to be made fools of. Tom has done just that.
#8 Nov 24, 2012
Participants in criminal investigations that are citizen-driven are motivated by one purpose and one purpose only -- to do the right thing.
As more and more information is disseminated to the public more citizens feel the urge to step forward and share information that would not normally be provided to local police departments or local officials simply because they cant be trusted.
However, with the Internet, these same folks are quite comfortable sharing information through emails with their new found and trusted friends via the Internet. The information is then passed on to the appropriate authorities. Local politicians and law enforcement are not privy to this information.
The most important aspect about a citizen-driven investigation into criminal behavior is that its ongoing. Theres no corrupt mayor or police chief to put the kibosh to the case.
Hey Ralph, Ill be home for Christmas. Will you? Just keep talking.
#9 Nov 24, 2012
Would the no rate increase mystery surrounding the source of a $1 million host fee be worthy of a citizen-driven investigation?
#10 Nov 24, 2012
Of course. These corrupt politicians days are numbered. The best part is they can't seem to truat each other any more. That's where the feds want them to be.
#11 Nov 25, 2012
I agree with you.
The corrupt politicians do not know who to trust and all want is to save their butt. No pun intended, butt they are in too deep.
And, wise corrupt politicians do not terminate, threaten, disparage, or disrespect anyone that has intimate knowledge of their corruptions. There is always the potential of not getting very angry, butt [sic] getting more than EVEN.
The ancient axiom applies does the amount of any illicit booty justify the perpetuators disproportionate risk of arrest, indictment, conviction, and incarceration? Kindly recall that it was staff persons and underlings who ratted on Orie, Veon, DeWeese, Halbay, etc.
I think former Clairton City Administrator Imbrogno weighed in on this one and decided to opt for the safer haven of being cooperative or a witness for the federal prosecutor. Mr. Imbrognos fate on December 6 will be a clue to his degree of cooperation.
Merry Christmas to Mr. and Mrs. Justice! We are blessed and thankful that you are alive and well.
#12 Nov 25, 2012
I have no precedent to cite, but I predict there will be a delay in the sentencing hearing for Mr. I. New information has surfaced that requires Mr. I's immediate cooperation.
#13 Nov 25, 2012
I trust that your statement on new information is based on a reliable covert source and not street rumor or speculation?
Yes, I tend to believe that the Imbrogno/Risha bid rigging scheme was not a single or isolated charade at WMASD only. The authorities may be investigating other government entities in the Mon Valley to see if they mimicked the scheme with other contractors.
The painting contractor and the late Dr. Risha may have been linked to more government entities than WMSD.
If the authorities hold Ralph's sentencing in abeyance, I agree with you that more corruption may have been detected by the federal authorities to investigate further.
I seem to vaguely recall that the esteemed Michael Veons political demise began when he discharged a low level female staff worker. It seems that she or someone concerned about her filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission. The SEC then escalated it to the AG and Veon came out second best.
Note that Veon was prosecuted by the Commonwealth AG whereas, the Imbrogno/Risha conviction was investigated by the FBI and then prosecuted by a Deputy U. S. Attorney.
#14 Nov 25, 2012
My statement is based on a number of things, which for now will remain my secret. Truth be told, if the feds choose to only prosecute Mr. I that leaves a black mark against the Pittsburgh Branch of the FBI that will last for some time.
Whether they like it or not, they must indict others if they value the reputation and integrity of the bureau.
In the past, the bureau often turned the other cheek when it came to Mon Valley corruption. The citizenry ignored it, so did the feds. This time around they will look like fools if others are not brought to justice.
Of course, time will tell the truth, it always does.
#15 Nov 25, 2012
The shame of it is what goes on in Mon Valley is small change compared to what goes on in Harrisburg and even mind boggling in D.C. Small isn't right but the big ones need to answer as well. Maybe, more so.
#16 Nov 25, 2012
You remind me of a story involving small change. The punch line goes soemthing like this: a million here and a million there, before you know it, you're talking real money.
Jimmy, Lou, and the rest of the deMOBocrats must pay for their looting. Their grandchildren need to know that the world would have been a much better place without them.
#17 Nov 25, 2012
Help us out with this one. Why were the feds involved in the Imbrogno/Risha investigation and subsequent federal conviction? Is it unusual for the feds to implicate or indict a deceased person? There has to be a lot more to this case.
I did not think any federal funds were involved and it was under $10,000? This leads me to believe that the feds are the untouchables and that Mob Valley corruption is in their crosshairs even if not over $10,000. They seemed relentless on this one which was good for the public and taxpayers and the agency. They did an excellent job on this one and expect more to follow in the Mob Valley.
Except for you, no one knows who else might be complicit with Risha and Imbrogno or similar schemes at other government entities. I would look everywhere late Risha was superintendent and the persons he raised political funds for.
I think the fact that MASD is hiring Attorney Weiss to look at their construction program and construction management is worthy of an FBI attention or an inquiry.
It seems that something smells and the Weiss report might be buried like the Cornell sex scandal incident and the MPD bogus overtime report issued by the DA and then buried by someone at City Hall.
#18 Nov 26, 2012
There's plenty more to the Imbrogno/risha case involving others. Corruption is so widespread in Mon Valley that people got too relaxed when breaking the law. Imbrogno is a perfect example. His own stupid behavior and cavalier attitude towards bid rigging led to his downfall.
He simply made it look too easy. And it was. Many will pay the price for ripping off taxpayers. Mon Valley politicians are crooks, it's part of their daily routine, much like brushing your teeth. It's time to pay the piper.
What irritates the feds and other homeland security officials is our politicians know that they can literally get away with anything they want. The feds simply don't have the manpower to go after Mob Valley politicians. Unless, someone drops a signed, sealed and delivered case into their lap.
When that happens, they can now do what they do best, squeeze and tease. Give it up or go to jail.
Imbrogno has been squeezed and teased. A sap like Imbrogno comes along once every 20, 30 or 40 years. The feds know what to do. Keep in mind, that schmucks like Imbrogno and other Mob Valley government workers, elected officials are actually the worst kind of terrorists the feds must deal with. They abuse the people of this country, the freedoms we try to enjoy, and distract homeland security from much more serious work.
People like Ralph Imbrogno and your average MOB Valley politician are the most despicable traitors this country has ever been forced to deal with. Imbrogno and all the others who will follow should be sentenced to live out the rest of their lives in Iran. Doubt they would take him.
#19 Nov 26, 2012
What entity in the Mob Valley would you suspect of being the most dubious that may attract the unwanted attention of the authorities next? Could this be a fallout from the December 6 federal sentening hearing for Imbrogno?
West Mifflin Boro Administration
West Mifflin Area School District Board
West Mifflin ASD Law Department
Clairton City Administration
Clairton School District
Clairton Law Department
South Allegheny SD Administration
South Allegheny School District Board
McKeesport ASD Administration
McKeesport Area School District Board
McKeesport Area SD Law Department
McKeesport Area Teacher's Union
McKeesport Area SD Construction Programs
McKeesport Democratic Committee
City of McKeesport Administration
City of McKeesport Council
City of McKeesport Controller
City of McKeesport Law Department
Municipal Authority City of McKeesport
McKeesport Housing Authority
McKeesport International Village
The MPD overtime missing report completed by the DA
#20 Nov 27, 2012
They are all excellent choices. Could be any one of them or all of them. Watch for my next post, shortly, it will help explain how unpredictable corruption really is.
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