Pa. high court nixes Clairton ballot appeal
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 4:51 a.m.
With a one-line statement, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ended the last legal challenge shadowing Clairton's Democratic mayoral primary.
“The petition for allowance of appeal is denied,” the court wrote Monday and posted Tuesday in the case Mayor Richard Lattanzi pressed against Councilman Richard Ford III over tax issues.
“I'm glad that it came in,” Ford said. “I thought it was a little extreme (after the lower court rulings in Ford's favor).”
Both candidates sought to move on.
“It's over,” Ford said. “Let's go forward and see what the people have to say.”
“I wish all the candidates good luck,” Lattanzi said. “I hope everyone comes out and votes.”
Councilman Terry Lee Julian and former city recreation director Kenneth Barna also are on the Democratic mayoral ballot.
Lattanzi sought to remove Ford over debts Ford allegedly owed city entities and the Internal Revenue Service.
“I pay my taxes and do everything that is right,” Lattanzi said last week.
Lattanzi maintained that Ford misled the taxpayers and never disclosed what he actually owed the city, Clairton City School District, IRS and Clairton Reinvestment Corp.
“I think there should be legislation that, if you owe taxes to a municipality you shouldn't be allowed to represent that municipality,” the incumbent mayor said.
Ford said he was challenging an IRS lien as well as the Clairton Reinvestment Corp. claim. He said last week that he had paid his taxes on all but one property he owns in Clairton.
On that property Ford said he has an agreement with the city, school district and Allegheny County to “pay the taxes that I have in arrears.”
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James rejected challenges to Ford and to both the mayoral and council candidacies Julian filed.
James said Lee Lasich, a legal secretary running against Julian for council in Ward 3, did not file her challenge in time.
Lasich did not appeal the county ruling but Lattanzi's attorney Glenn Smith took the matter first to Commonwealth Court, which affirmed the James ruling, and then state Supreme Court.
The court fight went past the deadline for printing absentee ballots for the primary. The Allegheny County Elections Division was working on the Commonwealth Court ruling that affirmed what James ruled.
There was no challenge to Ford's bid for renomination to city council in Ward 2.
No Republicans filed for mayor or city council in Clairton.
GOP voters have choices among those who cross-filed for school board seats.
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.
- 2 key Operation Pork Chop defendants delay pleas
- County still waiting for Versailles bar owner payments
- McKeesport Area students may ‘have their cake and eat it too’
- Clairton marks Month of Young Child with parade, assembly
- Dravosburg residents try to save PNC Bank from closing
- Mon Valley communities plan cleanup day activities
- Corbett signs child abuse protection bills
- 73-home subdivision plan approved for Westwood Golf Club
- Forward officials announce furniture sale
- Carnegie Library of Homestead spotlighted in CNN iReport
- Indiana company gets OK to sell former West Mifflin municipal building