4 remain on mayor ballot in Clairton
Clairton's Democratic contest for mayor remains a four-way race, at least for six more days.
On Wednesday, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James gave Councilman Richard Ford III two days to resubmit his statement of financial interest.
Mayor Richard Lattanzi's attorney Glenn A. Smith will have two days to respond and then Lattanzi's challenge of Ford's candidacy will be aired before James April 3 at 1:50 p.m.
James considered challenges to municipal ballot positions for the May 21 primary.
Smith contends that Ford failed to disclose all sources of income and names and addresses of creditors to whom he owed $6,500 or more.
“He's hiding tax debt owed to the city,” Smith said.
“My client reasonably believed payment was made in good faith,” Ford's attorney Burrell Brown said.
Ford and Lattanzi share the ballot with Councilman Terry Lee Julian and former council candidate Kenneth Barna.
Julian is running for re-election to council in Ward 3. He is challenged by legal secretary Levina B. Lasich, who is seeking to remove Julian from the ballot for mayor and council, claiming that Julian owes more than $34,000 to the city and Clairton City School District.
James tossed that challenge because Lasich did not file it in a timely matter.
Julian said he may take legal action, because documents attached to Lasich's petition gave incorrect information about what he still owes from a venture that went out of business in 1996.
He said the documents should have come through a right-to-know process, not from tax collectors for the city and school district.
Liberty's Democratic council contest remains a five-way race, but may prompt a rare plaintiff's appeal to Commonwealth Court.
“My understanding is that we are going to appeal,” attorney J. Jason Elash said after James upheld the candidacy of incumbent S. Larry Sikorski.
Elash represents South Allegheny High School teacher Mark A. Suckfiel, who challenged Sikorski over the alleged lack of a statement of financial interest, also known as an ethics statement, in the Liberty borough office.
Sikorski said he submitted a statement in time, but that it became lost behind file cabinets, a claim disputed by other borough officials.
“If it had been there I would have asked for a copy of it,” borough secretary-treasurer Debbie Helderlein testified.
Elash, a former Liberty solicitor, had borough solicitor George Gobel as his co-counsel, while attorney Matthew D. Racunas and his associate Kristin Mackulin represented Sikorski.
“We have a lot of hot-shot lawyers here,” James joked.
James told Sikorski to submit an amended ethics statement to the borough by Friday.
“I have to thank Mr. Racunas for his excellent work,” Sikorski said. “He did a tremendous job against the whole borough.”
A Dravosburg challenge was averted when Democrat Deborah Poppell withdrew her candidacy for council.
She and former police chief Kenneth Holland quit the race prior to a Wednesday deadline for withdrawals.
Incumbent William J. Snodgrass Jr. challenged Poppell's Democratic Party registration.
Snodgrass remains on the May 21 primary ballot with fellow incumbents Barbara J. Stevenson and Jay McKelvey and former borough postmaster John Palcsey.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport police arrest teen on gun charges
- Steel Valley school board president seeks donation policy
- Pleasant Hills council awards paving contract
- Steel Valley board contemplates raising lunch prices
- Glassport Scout completes Eagle Project
- White Oak man ordered to pay fine in gambling ring case
- Civic organization donates to Clairton Police Department
- PHEAA, FAFSA scams threaten students, families
- Suspect in McKeesport home invasion arrested in Toledo
- Judge refuses to reduce bail for McKeesport robbery suspect
- West Mifflin woman held for court, accused of leaving baby unattended