Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto fires 3 public works managers
By Bob Bauder
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto fired three public works managers on Tuesday and wavered on the future of Public Safety Director Michael Huss.
Early in the day, Peduto said Huss could be in line to work in a different, unspecified post because of his valuable institutional knowledge. In the afternoon, however, Peduto said Huss was among four finalists for public safety director in his administration.
Huss, 46, of Lincoln Place declined to comment.
“Presently, he is our public safety director,” Peduto said. “He is in the mix for that position.”
The status of Public Works Assistant Directors Robert Palmosina, Dennis James and Kevin Quigley was clearer.
“Their positions have been eliminated from the budget and we need to move forward now with the new restructuring of public works,” Peduto said.
He said department Director Rob Kaczorowski also will leave sometime after the city hires his replacement. Peduto said Kaczorowski could remain for a time to train the new director.
Quigley said he was grateful to Kaczorowski and proud that his “Redd Up” and “Green Up” crews were able to remove trash from vacant lots and secure vacant buildings.
“It was a pleasure to work for the residents of the city for the past 24 years,” Quigley said.
Peduto said he hopes to determine the fate of the public safety directorship by the end of next week and the public works position a week later.
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who heads the Public Works Committee, said she suspects the firings were politically motivated. All three employees have served as ward chairmen for the Pittsburgh Democratic Committee.
Peduto, a Democrat, said it was an unfair characterization.
“Within any administration comes new directors and assistant directors,” he said. “Certainly, (President) Barack Obama did not keep George Bush's and (Gov.) Tom Corbett didn't keep Ed Rendell's.”
Huss has worked for the city since 2005, when former Mayor Tom Murphy recruited him from Johnstown to be Pittsburgh's fire chief, a position he held until Peduto, as a city councilman, recommended he become public safety director.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl promoted Huss to the post in September 2007.
He oversaw the city's handling of the Group of 20 economic summit in 2009, merged Wilkinsburg's fire department into the city and established a swift water rescue training program for public safety employees after a flash flood on Washington Boulevard killed four people in August 2011.
Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed. Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Newsmaker: Joseph Bonadio
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Historical markers approved for 21 sites around Pennsylvania
- FirstEnergy last to get smart meter OK
- On Pittsburgh visit, ambassador says $15B in aid to Ukraine shows support
- State Superior Court denies ex-Sen. Jane Orie’s corruption appeal
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County
- State official: Peoples-Equitable merger saves money for consumers