Pittsburgh PA - As Pennsylvania State Attorney General Jack Wagner (D) continues to dig into the finances of the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT), more waste is being uncovered. Lucrative and very questionable payments to top executives continue to be uncovered which are "legal" but highly unethical.
Schemes such as buying back time from other public sector jobs and rolling that time into the PAT pension plan. Double dipping into the pension plan while being reimbursed, with interest, for the initial contribution into the plan. Excessive payments for moving expenses for the new Executive Director. $45 grand of taxpayer money to move??? Get real. Rent a U-Haul Steve and put you and your family to work carrying furniture.
If these things happened in private industry, you'd see key executives being taken to court, tried and convicted. In fact this does happen in private industry and many key executives did the frog march and are now cooling their heels in prison. It most likely won't happen in this case as the local politicians will try to bury this all to protect their personal hides.
Here are just two reports over the past few days dealing with the PAT situation (story 1 - story 2). Torrid tales of management in the public sector getting rich by raping the taxpayer. Oh, and guess what folks, most of the individuals involved in this waste are die-hard Democrats. You know, the party of the working man that always accuses the "evil" Republicans of doing these types of acts.
It's not just upper management, as well as the two former PAT Executive Directors, that needs to be taken to court over this either. The PAT Board of Directors needs to be hauled into court as well as they approved all this nonsense. Again, it probably won't happen as this is a government agency and politicians will be covering their butts.
What is truly sad about all of this is that it isn't limited to just PAT. This is a problem nationwide and extends far outside of the public transit industry. Almost every governmental agency has problems such as this. The misuse of pension plans and raiding the agency is far more common in the public sector than it is in the private sector but the liberal media focuses on the private sector as it tends to be where the "evil" Republicans are. Public sector management tends to have more Democrats in charge.
I have earned a new respect for Jack Wagner over his rabid determination to show the waste at PAT. It's not something I really expected from a Democrat. Maybe there is some hope for that party after all.