Turnpike commissioner from Connellsville quits citing stress, health
By Tom Fontaine
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013, 4:03 p.m.
Former state Sen. Bill Lincoln resigned from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on Friday, citing stress over a corruption scandal surrounding the agency.
Documents show he received immunity from prosecution for wrongdoing he admitted, and testified against others in the case.
“Given the additional personal stress over the events of the past two weeks and my already difficult battle with maintaining my health, I am no longer able to perform the duties required of a member of the commission,” Lincoln, 72, of Connellsville said in a resignation letter to Gov. Tom Corbett.
Corbett will nominate a replacement, whom the Senate must confirm.
“We respect Sen. Lincoln's decision to resign. Given the circumstances, he made the right choice,” said turnpike Chairman William K. Lieberman of Squirrel Hill.
Lincoln, who did not return a call, served as a key witness in a 44-month statewide grand jury investigation of what the state Attorney General's office described as a “pay-to-play” scheme. The grand jury alleges that companies' campaign contributions and gifts helped secure lucrative turnpike contracts. Eight people face charges.
Lincoln agreed to testify after getting immunity, the grand jury presentment said. He admitted receiving $3,100 in gift certificates to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County from an engineering firm, and failing to report the gifts on his annual Statement of Financial Interests, required of public officials.
In his testimony, Lincoln said former turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier of Ross, former Chairman Mitchell Rubin and former Chief Operating Officer George Hatalowich hand-picked who would receive professional-services contracts in advance of commission meetings. Brimmeier, Rubin and Hatalowich are among those charged.
Then-Gov. Ed Rendell appointed Lincoln, a Democrat, to the commission in 2004. He served as its secretary and treasurer since 2011.
In his resignation, Lincoln said, “I am proud of my time as a commissioner and believe that the lasting improvements made to the turnpike network in Western Pennsylvania and on the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the Southern Beltway will prove to be invaluable to the future economic health of the region.”
Lincoln served in the state Senate for 16 years and acted as Senate majority leader during his final term. He was a state representative for six years.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or email@example.com.
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.
- Duquesne schools, community leaders look for student connection
- Steelers safety Polamalu finds himself in tough position
- Kovacevic: A great day to appreciate No. 68
- McKeesport Area art class goes global to find Santa
- LeBeau wants to come back as Steelers defensive coordinator
- Early data reveal downward shift in holiday spending
- Merrill to pay $131.8M to settle SEC charges
- ProStart primes student chefs for best kitchen jobs
- Obama administration asking insurers to be flexible on health coverage
- Economic recovery hinges on feds, experts say
- Pitt’s Donald sweeps Outland, Bednarik awards, named All-American