ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — The race for Allegheny County Chief Executive is heating up in the midst of a Target 11 Investigation.
On Thursday night, we told you exclusively that Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb had fired his longtime administrative assistant after learning from Target 11 that she was working a second job in another county.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE >> TARGET 11 EXCLUSIVE: Pittsburgh Controller’s longtime assistant resigns over controversial 2nd job
Friday, Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein, who’s running against Lamb and several others, held a news conference criticizing Lamb.
“This is a misuse of taxpayers money, blatant misuse of taxpayer money,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein said he isn’t buying Lamb’s claim that he didn’t know anything about her second job, working as a paraprofessional for the Peters Township School District in Washington County.
“You’re the fiscal watchdog of the city of Pittsburgh. You’re supposed to report fraud, abuse, misuse of taxpayer money and it was happening right in his office. It baffles my mind. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy,” said Weinstein.
Earle: Just to be clear. You did not know about her secondary employment?
Lamb: No, as soon as I found out about it we dealt with it.
Target 11 reached out to Lamb on Thursday and notified him about the potential conflict involving his longtime assistant.
Lamb said he was unaware of it.
He spoke with her and advised her it was against the City Charter to work for another government entity while working for the City of Pittsburgh.
Lamb said she resigned at that point.
She worked for the Controller for 15 years, earning an annual salary of approximately $75,000
Earle: Weinstein says this happened right under your nose. You’re the fiscal watchdog of the city. That should be a clear example that you’re not capable of doing the job.
Lamb: Listen, you know we take these kinds of things very seriously in this office.
Weinstein has also faced recent criticism and controversy for delaying a vote on ethics reform on the retirement board, to published reports that the FBI was asking questions about his roll on the ALCOSAN board after his sudden remove and an alleged secret back room deal to try to get him back on that board.
Earle: Your response to all of those?
Weinstein: It’s all political. Absolutely, 100%.
Earle: No truth to any of that?
Weinstein: None of it. It’s all political.
“Having the treasurer’s criticism on this, if it weren’t so serious would be comic because this is a guy who has made every attempt to weaken the public trust,” said Lamb.
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