TRIB STORY: City’s deal with Politically Active business owner may be Shoddy, Raw.

*-UPDATE: With allegations of improper towing and more improper expansion in hours / space for the valet project.

The Tribune Review is alarming everybody:

Mitcham said employees of Tri State Valet Inc. of Green Tree have been erroneously telling drivers that they’re not permitted to park in Market Square without paying to use the service. He said Tri State employees are parking cars in metered spots on the perimeter of Market Square and the upper and lower portions of Forbes Avenue instead of driving them to a designated floor of 200 spaces in the Third Avenue Parking Garage that the Pittsburgh Parking Authority owns.

“We’re working on the issue. The valet company’s employees are not following the rules,” Mitcham said.

Robert Gigliotti, 46, of Banksville owns Tri State Valet and William Penn Parking. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

The businessman has been a prominent supporter of the mayor. The contract is with the Market Square Merchants Association, but Mayor Luke Ravenstahl started the pilot program through the Parking Authority. I wonder if this puts anyone else in the hot seat as go-between.

Spoiler alert: there’s no smoking gun, and the contract may have been earned fair and square. But of course the City pursued the valet program and the Police authorized the parking variances, and Pittsburgh is a small town.

It may all go away if the valet services improve dramatically, today. The public invested a lot into transforming Market Square and should get every penny and convenience in return.

9 thoughts on “TRIB STORY: City’s deal with Politically Active business owner may be Shoddy, Raw.

  1. Anonymous

    I thought this kind of thing would stop when Like dropped out of the race? There's nothing mentioned that would even hint that this goes above a less-than-honest business trying to make more money/spend less by skirting the rules.

    Reply
  2. Bram Reichbaum

    Anon 7:22 – When the business you describe is politically connected, and perhaps is lulled into cutting all those corners by enjoying said privilege?

    No, that's never going to stop. Not so long as there are civic businessmen and women who so avidly support local candidates. Especially when those candidates are incumbent.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    “Spoiler alert: there's no smoking gun, and the contract may have been earned fair and square. But of course the City pursued the valet program and the Police authorized the parking variances, and Pittsburgh is a small town.”

    And valet parking is all cash all day. Perfect for payoffs, skim, graft. Shake Gigolotti and see who falls out of his pocket!

    Reply
  4. Anon 7:22

    I'm not saying they're not politically connected, but that there is nothing to indicate that had anything to do with this. “Lulled” is just a guess to motive. I fully support journalist fleshing out corruption, but I abhor the mentioning of two people who are connected, followed by eyebrow raising. That's all this seems to be.

    Reply
  5. Bram Reichbaum

    There was a follow-up already involving alleged improper towing and alleged improper expansion of business hours and space. I'll tell you, Anon 7:22, the way the “connections” to Harper and the PB were presented, it did seem a little like straining. (Although it underlines why the Special Events office can be so interesting– now we know ways in which they also rule Pgh's streets. An office with a lot of temptations) But anyway, yeah, straining. The straight-up political connection to Luke and the Dems is enough to convey the full meaning of the concern.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Ex-Police Chief Harper sentenced to 18 months. | The Pittsburgh Comet

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