Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Editorial: Right and Wrong

"The conduct of certain Public Works employees (Tuesday) was unethical, inexcusable and unacceptable."

Mayor Ravenstahl was dead-on correct in saying this. It was good of him to take immediate control of the situation.

"I will mete out discipline to the fullest extent of departmental policy."

It was correct to order the five-day suspensions for working out-of-uniform, and it was the right call to refer consideration for further discipline to the Ethics Hearing Board.

Although it was monstrous that the city's Redd Up crew was permitted to become a pawn of political infighting, it would probably be wrong to come down much harder on these city employees.

"I've been in Public Works 29 years; I know better than that. I didn't ask anybody to do anything ... Obviously, I wasn't aware of it, because I was in council [yesterday] morning ... (the photos are) political, know what I'm saying?"

This is a gross ducking of responsibility by Councilman Jeffrey Koch. At the very least, he owes an apology.

Koch's own campaign treasurer was the ringleader of this Redd Up crew. His long-established ties to the DPW are well known. The Department does not deserve to become any more sullied by this, in its own right.

He owes an apology not just to his opponent, but to all Pittburghers who hold the city's Redd Up initiative in high esteem -- and to all of us who would like to hold our city to high standards of ethical behavior.

Nobody is asking Jeff Koch to surrender his council seat. He should continue campaigning proudly, telling his district that he is a great councilman, and continues to be the best man for the job.

Which he clearly is not, if he cannot accept responsibility for allowing his reelection campaign to spin out of control in such an unacceptable and thoroughly inexcusable manner.

No comments:

Post a Comment