BestFriendsgate: Yes, This Also Qualifies

One summer day in 2006, Al Wikowski Jr. looked behind his Lawrenceville row house and saw decks extending from the building behind his to within a foot of his back windows.

The decks, he later learned, were built without a permit, and subsequent efforts by city of Pittsburgh agencies to force their removal got nowhere. Even as the Bureau of Building Inspection was trying unsuccessfully to get the deck work behind the building stopped, the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority was signing off on a $30,000 aid package for work on the facade. (P-G, Rich Lord)

It could be worse. It might have been an electronic billboard in his window.

Private criminal complaints filed by building inspectors against Mr. Edelstein and an associate in January 2007 have languished. He doesn’t want to move, and in fact refused to sell to Wylie even after they threatened to sue him if he didn’t. He’s been to hearings and meetings, and the decks remain.

Isn’t Bureau of Building Inspections Director Ron Graziano the one department head that Mayor Ravenstahl ultimately found intolerable and had to let go? You don’t suppose Our Mayor could have been aware of this situation, and other situations, involving BBI regulations conflicting with the interests of ‘best friends’ of the URA?

Attorney Lawrence Fisher, who represents Mr. Ford in relation to a State Ethics Commission investigation into his receipt of gifts from a Lamar Advertising executive, said the Streetface program “was administered appropriately and according to law … Any such grants that Pat signed off on were reviewed and recommended” by other URA officials and the agency’s general counsel.

Only following orders, you see. Only carrying out the mission. He’s probably got a point.

One thought on “BestFriendsgate: Yes, This Also Qualifies

  1. TheTruth

    <>Isn’t Bureau of Building Inspections Director Ron Graziano the one department head that Mayor Ravenstahl ultimately found intolerable and had to let go?<>He also found former URA director Jerry Detorre intolerable. Strangely enough, Pat Ford was his replacement.

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