Friday, May 4, 2012

Grand Theft Chainsaw's Fallout Uncertain

How do you answer the door for Andy Sheehan? How? Even escorting a Girl Scout with cookies, I'd pull the blinds.

Here we go, in order: KDKA Wed. / Trib Wed. / P-G Thu. / KDKA Thu. / Trib Thu. / P-G Fri. / P-G Sat.

What a can of worms:

NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS FUNDS: Many years ago under different leadership, the City approved a bond issuance to amass money that is treated a little more like "walking around money" or "fun money" by individual members of Council. That was one way to keep everybody peaceful and busy within City Hall, though I guess it stopped working. Many Council districts retain funding, hundreds of thousands, that is still carrying over. Expenditures from these accounts do come to the table for public votes at public meetings and are subject to multiple layers of oversight, often by Department heads and the Controller -- but in practice each Council member is given deference over their District's stash. There is perhaps less truly skeptical, critical oversight employed.

Now there will almost certainly be more scrutiny and controls placed over Neighborhood Needs money, though other officeholders like Controller Lamb and Mayor Ravenstahl will argue, "This is not best practices to begin with, give the money back!" The Council however with some justification will point out that their constituents still deserve any unspent money the way they voted to use it and go into debt for the sake getting back in the 90's -- especially constituents who have enjoyed thriftier political leaders who have disbursed less of it over the years -- and besides, a little petty cash does make for getting 'er done.

COUNCIL OPERATIONS: Staff members, especially chiefs of staff which is what we are talking about here, are generally and implicitly empowered to do routine things on behalf of their Council bosses. Business would otherwise move very slowly, Council members would need to attend work all the time, Blackberries would never stop ringing and honking etc. If the institutionally sanctioned trust between boss and staffer dissipates, that will cause some stress.

WHO ELSE: It seems pretty straight forward. The initial segment reminded me of that old tv show, To Catch A Predator. "Why don't you have a seat over there". But there is always a chance an alleged felonious perpetrator had alleged accomplices. For example, assuming our friend in question did not invent a purchase order number out of thin air, he probably really extracted one from the Department of Public Works. Do we chalk that up to legitimate staff empowerment and abused staff trust? One hopes. Is somebody at DPW being loose about approving purchase orders for certain people or in certain circumstances? One hopes not. Is there somebody at DPW being loose for such a host of individuals, that every reprobate scoundrel even from the highest offices will circle the wagons to protect this valuable corrupt benefactor -- whereas who really cares about our friend in question who got sloppy and landed on camera? One really hopes not.

MISCELLANEOUS: There are some inconsistencies among the various accounts; the usual.

THE SOURCE: Upstanding whistle blower? Vengeful political ninja? Does it even matter?


  1. This is karma and hypocrisy at its best!

    Didnt he run to the press about the City Housing Authority spending taxpayers dollars on lavish things while still working for them? I remember he'd always walk around South Side, telling bar owners what ordinances they were violating in a very arrogant manner. I heard the one time S Bar refused him entrance because of the shoes he was wearing so he e-mailed them in a sorta threatening way asking if "they knew who he worked for??"

    I am NOT excited that this unfortunate incident happened to him but he did do a lot of bad, crazy, messed up actions towards his friends and others and now it has been a long time coming and his shady past is catching up with him.

    His career in politics, especially local where he claimed to excel the most in, in over! I think we call agree that that no one like a hypocrite or a thief.

  2. Those were some nice looking chainsaws. I only have a bow saw, but we were raised tougher back in the day.

  3. I'm disappointed Bram. Disapointed in the Hoagie's actions and the fact that you didn't do a xtranormal video about this.

  4. Maybe there was a reason, like the UPMC/Highmark compromise happened because the meeting took place at a table surrounded by 13 guys in goalie masks with chainsaws.

  5. Does anyone really think that MH isn't Matt Hogue?

  6. I doubt anyone is surprised by this...except Bruce Kraus, who needs to be closely evaluating who he is willing to hand his trust to.

  7. Why does nobody think I'm Marvin Hamlisch?

  8. Reframing the matter, this looks like a major shot by Lamb across Luke's bow. Yesterday's online PG said the mayor would be commenting on Chainsawgate yesterday afternoon. Where was he? Getting the story straight with Kaczorowski and co. no doubt. Also can't wait to see how much each council office is still holding in Neighborhood Needs money and how it's been spent. I could see deals being cut to hold off on examining/reporting NN finances in exchange for mayoral campaign support. It could also be a warning to Luke to not screw around with the new bond for road paving etc.

  9. Detectives became suspicious that Hogue was trying to set up the man for the burglary, and interviewed him at police headquarters. Hogue

    "took a long sigh and stated that he was very sorry that he made us do all this work and said he panicked," the complaint said.

  10. This sounds more like drug addict-style desperation theft more than anything else. Leaving a paper trail and filing a false police report just doesn't sound like a group plan, to me.

    I think I read somewhere that Lamb told Sheehan to look into it. I was wondering if that is just Lamb asking a pro to help out, or purposely putting it in the media for political gain. Any ideas?

  11. If you purchased a new chainsaw for cash out of somebody's basement, you're probably going to have to give it back and are at some nontrivial of being charged with receiving stolen goods, right?

  12. First Matt Hogue, now Adam Yauch. What wrong with this crazy world?!

  13. This person has displayed bad taste forever! Boasting on social media about how he owns the city…criticism against anyone who runs against some so called progressive candidate…expecting to claim council seat in District 3 (maybe 2-in his mind)…racial/sexist slurs on social media…alliances with anyone willing to stroke is ego…a bad history with the west end community –where he lives yet does jack for…parties in clubs on any free minute he can conjure up, with 100s of really random girls (as if folks care)…and now, the party ended. Poor behavior, narcissism and ridiculous judgment have all caught up to him.

  14. Tried to frame his neighbor. What a sweetheart.

    But it's only starting with Hogue. What's up with the equipment supply guy in Jefferson overcharging the city for 13 chainsaws on the word of a council underling? What's up with DPW approving or overlooking it?

  15. how about a discussion on council chiefs of staff--Hogue has been ID'd in the PG as such--and other constituent service folk. I'm only familiar with a few of them. Peduto's #2 Dan Gilman seems like a very competent and nice guy. Jessica in that office can be pretty aloof but seems to know her stuff. I'm concerned about O'Connor's crew. A couple of them have been around forever, first under Bob then through Doug's term. They were there when the Neighborhood Needs money first hit the table. At public meetings Lynette, Connie and Judy spend a lot of time chatting amongst themselves and talking in half-sentences and code when they address constituents.

    The PG quoted somebody saying that $400K of NN money is still lying around due to good stewardship in the council offices. Bull. Every district needs a ton of work. It takes a little effort on the staffs' part to spend the money, but it should have been put in the service of the community many moons ago.

  16. Aw, All you folks are just picking on Matt because he has the mayor's support.

    Oh wait, never mind....


  17. Accusations of a drug addiction? Racial/sexist slurs?? Wow. How does that comment even stand on here Bram? This is why I stopped looking at the dead blogs over a year ago.

  18. You stopped looking at the dead blogs over a year ago precisely BECAUSE there hasn't been this kind of material. Be honest.

    What were we up to a year ago today? Bad example...

    Anonymously leveled and vague accusations found in Internet comments must be taken with fistfuls of salt. There were no actual accusations of drug abuse made, just speculation; I think we all thought the now-admitted behavior did "sound" "something" like that. And I know there were *arguably* off-color remarks made on Facebook. Nothing to erase here, though I'd like to take the spotlight off him and post something else soon. Hopefully the Sunday news will be both salacious AND important.

  19. How soon until the mugshot comes out? You can get copies at the Jail.

  20. I posted the "drug addict-style desperation" comment. I just wanted to clarify that I don't know Hogue's personal life, but was addressing concerns that there might be more to this crime than one very stupid act.(Or, combined acts by one stupid man.)

    Further, I would like to point out that although some will probably declare that something needs to change with how things are done because of this, the system pretty much worked. The guys who are supposed to catch this stuff caught it.

    Any chance Hogue claims he did it just to show there was a flaw in the system?

  21. Hey Matt - Good going! We are all of proud of you! Don't let these minor felony charges get you down!

    Signed your friends,

    Matt M
    Mark D
    Pat F
    Bob O'Connor
    Lil' O'Conner
    Mrs. O'Connor
    Luke R
    Luke's lil' halfwhit sidekick brother
    John M
    West End Citizens

    Your GramGram (I'm downstairs when you want cookies)

  22. "the system pretty much worked. The guys who are supposed to catch this stuff caught it."

    Do the taxpayers have their $10,000 back?

  23. To Number Two above - it seems ridiculous for you to launch into a rambling, shambling critique of council staff here...but if you insist, at least do your homework. Jessica hasn't been in the District 8 office in quite some time.

  24. Hoagie was just a better looking joe klepick....both run around wanting their pictures taken with anyone running for office ... eye candy for the boss

  25. I think a legit question about how Kraus runs his office was raised the minute he hired Hogue, at least in the minds of those who were familiar with Matt and how he behaves. It'll be really tough for Kraus to hang on to this seat.

  26. Gotta say there's at least two things I don't like about 11:37. I imagine he was hired because he used to work for the opposite political team and then felt singed by them for some reason. Who knows what he was able to tell.

  27. "Do the taxpayers have their $10,000 back?"

    If Hogue wants any kind of deal, it will involve paying the city back. If not, the city can always sue for 10 grand plus legal expenses.

  28. Matt is done now…and it’s so refreshing to know. In regards to the comment earlier, that mentioned Luke, Theresa, West End, ECT…please! Those people can’t stand Matt… he is a lying, good for nothing idiot who thought that he could slime his way in to a city council seat. Guess what…he just got a lot of salt poured on his back! Lol!.. and Bram…who cares what he could tell or not…the guy can’t deliver a single neighborhood to anyone running for office if they actually paid him 10,000 to! Maybe we should all give him suggestions as to what line of work he should now pursue; just don’t mention anything involving social work or politics…that doesn’t seem to fit him well.
    P.S. Bram: Let him go, he isn’t worth it. he’s social poison and career suicide…quit with the friend references…find another young, witty and so called inward dude to worship!

  29. I believe Anon on 5/4 3:37PM and Anon 5/8 2:25AM said it best as well as the very first comment made on this post.

    I know for a fact that this is not the first time he has stolen this past year and a half alone! He never knew how to compromise or take people with a grain of salt, esp. when it came to politics! He was always agressive, chip on his shoulder, and arguementive that made him Public Enemey #1; Theresa Smith was always hesitant about him and now I see why!

    PS, will his Jefferson Award be revoked now? im being serious, not asking as a joke.

    Anyways, we can all sleep better knowing now that Matt Hogues short lived career in politics is over! I mean its not like he would have gotten far anyways given all the bridges he burned!

  30. DAENERYS TARGARYENMay 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM


  31. The Brandon Dukes exclamation points...

  32. Jim Motznik stole gas. Look what that did for his career.

  33. Motznik did not steal gas, he borrowed it, anom 11:37 was right about the eye candy

  34. Where is that big mouth know it all anyways?

    Can't wait to see him around and laugh at his soon to be felon ass.

  35. Thanks for the clarification about Jessica, 9:37. I saw her with Dan G. at an event last week and just assumed.