TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Turnpike commissioner from Connellsville quits citing stress, health

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Turnpike Commissioner Bill Lincoln resigned on Friday, March 22, 2013.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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 tfontaine@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  2. Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
  3. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  4. McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
  5. Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
  6. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  7. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  8. Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
  9. Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
  10. Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
  11. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally