Pittsburgh mayor vows stricter enforcement of valet regulations
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto promised strict enforcement of valet parking regulations adopted last year to crack down on such things as favoritism shown to a politically connected operator.
Peduto said the city has not uniformly enforced regulations that City Council approved more than a year ago, and his office is receiving complaints that valet companies are not following them.
“If they're not following the rules, then they're going to lose their valet's license,” he said.
The Tribune-Review reported last year that the police bureau consistently awarded Green Tree-based Tri-State Valet Inc. more parking spots than competitors. The company is owned by Robert Gigliotti, who had close ties to former police Chief Nate Harper, former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the Pittsburgh Democratic Committee.
A federal grand jury examined police bureau valet parking records as part of its investigation into Harper's misuse of taxpayer funds. Harper, 61, is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to siphoning more than $30,000 for personal purchases.
Gigliotti did not return a call.
Council approved regulations requiring valets to have a license and insurance. The ordinance limits them to four public spaces for drop-off and delivery, and prohibits them from parking cars on streets.
Peduto and Councilman Dan Gilman of Shadyside said they've received complaints that valets park cars on streets, take more spaces than permitted and operate outside of permitted hours. Most complaints come from Downtown, South Side and East Liberty, Peduto said.
“It's not one area, not one operator,” Gilman said. “We just need to make sure we're doing regular checks and reminding operators of their responsibility.”
Peduto said the Department of Public Works is responsible for setting up areas for valet parking, and police are responsible for enforcing the ordinance. He said enforcement is inconsistent in some police zones.
“There were a lot of issues that came up before that involved and were tied into the Harper scandal and everything else,” Peduto said. “We have to get this in order. There has to be equal enforcement.”
Public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said she could not comment because she had not been briefed on the issue.
Peter Landis, an owner of Perle in Market Square and a member of the Market Square Association board, said Tri-State had provided valet service for restaurants in the square. He said the association found a new operator — D&P Valet — because of negative publicity.
“D&P has been there now and has been doing a very successful job,” Landis said.
Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer.