UPMC asks city of Pittsburgh for letter in dispute over tax exemption
UPMC wants Pittsburgh to turn over unredacted copies of private correspondence that the health care giant believes contains legal opinions, facts and rumors justifying the city's decision to strip UPMC of its tax-exempt status.
UPMC and its attorneys filed a petition Thursday asking Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to overturn the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records decision last month to deny a similar appeal by UPMC asking the city to provide unredacted billing records from the law firm of Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Geffsky, which the city retained to analyze and give an opinion about the possibility of stripping UPMC of a payroll tax exemption.
The petition states that the law firm provided the city with a 13-page confidential letter outlining “the legal opinions, ‘facts' and ‘rumor' purportedly justifying the city's decision to sue UPMC two weeks later” to remove the exemption.
UPMC believes the city “seeks to cloak from public disclosure — among other things, the identities of third party persons and entities who the city has now admitted it conferred with before deciding to sue UPMC. ...”
According to the petition, the city undermined its “bogus claim that such information is protected from disclosure by the attorney client privilege and/or work product doctrine” by making the confidential letter “the cornerstone” of the city's public relations campaign and lawsuit filed against UPMC.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 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.