Share This Page

City finance director fired in 2006 is Peduto's pick for same job

| Friday, April 25, 2014, 3:17 p.m.

Former government officials hailed Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's pick for finance director as one of the region's top government finance experts.

Peduto on Friday announced the nomination of Paul Leger, 69, of the North Side for a position open since last month when Finance Director Scott Kunka retired.

“I used to jokingly call him the county answer man, because any question I had, he had an answer for,” said former Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer. “He's very, very attuned to government operations. You can't do better.”

Leger, who lives in the Mexican War Streets, has 40 years of public service, including a stint as finance director under former Mayor Bob O'Connor. He has experience in municipal, county and nonprofit executive management, public finance and budgeting, workforce development and leadership development and training.

Leger could not be reached.

Among other things, he helped write the county's Home Rule Charter and steer PGH 21, a task force that studied Pittsburgh's financial dilemma when the city faced bankruptcy early in the last decade.

“I am thrilled Paul is bringing his unrivaled talents back to Pittsburgh,” Peduto said in a prepared statement. “He is perfectly positioned to assist my efforts to restructure the Department of Finance and to help implement the city's new approach to an Act 47 plan that will guide us into financial health for decades.”

The city has been under state oversight, through Act 47, because of its weak financial condition, including underfunded pensions.

O'Connor fired Leger in 2006 in a shakeup at City Hall in which two other top aides departed. Kunka replaced Leger.

Among other positions, Leger was: senior vice president for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development; president and associate director for Coro Center for Civic Leadership; and acting managing director and senior project manager for the Pennsylvania Economy League.

“He's one of the most competent financial men in the region,” said former City Councilman Sala Udin of the Hill District.

Leger is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and Duquesne University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in English and history.

His nomination is subject to City Council confirmation. His annual salary would be $100,889.

“He's a bipartisan guy. He just tries to do the right thing,” said former county Commissioner Mike Dawida. “He helped us save the county when we were in great distress.”

Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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.