TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


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

More LCB woes: A telling probe

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
 

The Liquor Control Board's two-and-a-half-year binge on private-label wine and spirits brands that compete with the private sector on its own store shelves has left it with a massive hangover, prompting Chairman Joseph E. “Skip” Brion to investigate.

Competent management would have done such due diligence — and stopped this ill-advised idea — long ago.

At issue is not just the in-house TableLeaf wine brand, about which Executive Director Joe Conti and Marketing Director Jim Short can't get their stories straight. Seven other such brands are involved.

Mr. Brion — nominated for his post in July 2011 and chairman for about a year — says he wasn't told about any private-label brands until he'd been on the job for about four months. He also says that he wasn't told that a July vote on selling Vinestone boxed wine concerned a private-label brand. And all eight private-label brands weren't identified as such to LCB members before votes on them, according to Brion.

That suggests top LCB officials might have been kept in the dark deliberately by parties unknown with agendas of their own. And that Brion and his colleagues failed to do homework they should have done.

Add word of a state Ethics Commission probe into alleged acceptance of vendors' gifts and favors by Messrs. Conti, Short and former LCB member Patrick Stapleton and it's apparent just how appallingly mismanaged the LCB is — and just how badly privatization is needed.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Century III Mall’s Sears on track to close Dec. 7
  2. Braddock agency is a lifeline for commuters
  3. Food bank CEO hopeful of tax break for donors
  4. McKeesport’s Davis is vice chair of county Dem party
  5. Parade to start off Winterfest in Glassport
  6. Fire marshal investigating the cause of Wilmerding house fires
  7. Thousands depend on Mon Valley area red kettle drive
  8. Stakes high as ex-Saints receiver Moore faces his former team
  9. Black Friday trends, tactics change, but Americans still love bargains
  10. Steelers notebook: Injury to RT Gilbert opens door for Adams to start
  11. Police identify driver in North Side crash that killed pregnant woman
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.