More LCB woes: A telling probe
By The Tribune-Review
Published: 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
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.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Obamacare dramatically increases costs for some small businesses
- Figure skating coach dies in crash at Washington County Airport
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Curtain call: Final wintry blast due to hit Western Pa.
- Can Pirates star outfielder McCutchen be even better in 2014?
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto proposes $16M for schools to boost population
- Starkey: No shame for Robert Morris
- Sandusky’s wife says she believes he’s innocent