Share This Page

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Lance: To Michael Lamb. The Pittsburgh controller and Democrat mayoral wannabe has been making near-daily political hay out of the Bureau of Police scandal, placing the blame squarely at the feet of incumbent Democrat Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. But a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to convicting Mr. Ravenstahl in the court of public opinion: Turns out Mr. Lamb was alerted to the hinkiness three months ago and says his staff was too busy to begin an audit. Ah, the bleats of a hypocrite.

On the “Watch List”: As much as we would detest the resulting UPMC monopoly, it appears more and more likely that the state Insurance Department will reject Highmark Inc.'s plan to essentially subsume the beleaguered West Penn Allegheny Health System. That's because, as Highmark now freely admits, it needs a new contract with UPMC, West Penn's chief rival, to make the West Penn deal work. The admission could end up being the goose that further gilds the golden Romoff, so to speak.

Lance: To West Penn Allegheny. Its financial controls were so loosey-goosey that its onetime financial services manager allegedly was able to steal more than $700,000 over nearly four years. Ira L. Johnson of Penn Hills now faces 10 charges for diverting the money between mid-2007 and late 2011. Worse, while Mr. Johnson was fired in November 2011, the hospital system didn't learn of the theft for another 14 months. If oversight was so sloppy here, what's that say for the rest of the institution?

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.