TribLIVE

| News

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

Ex-worker denies favoring McKees Rocks firetruck maker for Pittsburgh contract

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'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.

By Margaret Harding and Jeremy Boren
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A member of the committee that analyzed bids to supply Pittsburgh with firetrucks previously worked for the company that won the contract.

Alan Hausman, the fire bureau's logistics manager, acknowledged he worked for Keystone Fire Apparatus in McKees Rocks for three years in the late 1990s.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss said he learned on Friday that Hausman previously worked for three manufacturers, including Keystone.

“He's going to have to be removed from the committees,” Huss said, citing the potential for a conflict of interest.

Fire Chief Darryl Jones put Hausman on the four-member apparatus committee that evaluated bids from Keystone and Precision Fire Apparatus of Missouri. Jones hired Hausman in 2007.

“He's a technical adviser,” Jones said. “I asked him to participate because of his experience.”

Hausman said he showed no favoritism to his former employer. He said Jones was aware of his time with Keystone.

“It was on my résumé that I turned in when I interviewed for the job with the city,” Hausman said. “These people knew me, so they know what I've done.”

Keystone's bid was not the lowest, but it beat one from Precision Fire Apparatus because Precision's bid contained 64 “discrepancies” that deviated from the city's specifications, Jones said. An April 30, 2012, letter from the apparatus committee — signed by Hausman, Assistant Chief Thomas Cook, Deputy Chief Frank Large and Lt. James Ellis —– stated that Precision's proposal “does not meet our specifications.”

Jones worked as a salesman for Keystone more than decade ago.

A licensing database the Pennsylvania Department of State maintains shows a “vehicle dealer” license Jones had with Keystone expired in 2005, and he said he hasn't received a paycheck from the company since 2001.

The city purchased eight trucks and could buy up to nine more if funding is available. The 17 trucks would cost roughly $8 million.

Thomas Ball, owner of Keystone, said Hausman worked in the company's office ordering parts and equipment. He said neither Jones nor Hausman helped his bid win. Ball said none of the other members of the committee worked for him.

Huss said Thursday that he asked the city's Office of Municipal Investigation to look into Jones' connection to the company. An independent solicitor for the city's Equipment Leasing Authority investigated Jones' relationship to Keystone in 2011 and determined there was nothing that would prevent the authority from entering into a contract with Keystone.

Ball blamed the controversy and the ensuing investigation of the bid on competitors who are unhappy that they did not win the city's business

Margaret Harding and Jeremy Boren are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Harding at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com. Reach Boren at 412-320-7935 or jboren@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
  2. Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
  3. Volunteer tutors boost adult literacy in Allegheny County
  4. National Night Out ‘a start’ for violence-prone Homewood
  5. Downtown Macy’s building to lose OASIS to closer parent organization
  6. Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s banding program a labor of love for avian expert
  7. Allegheny County Council candidates chosen for District 11 ballot
  8. Newsmaker: Harry J. Gruener
  9. Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
  10. Author of Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its effects in Carnegie
  11. 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh