Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pat Ford: First Shoe Drops

Bob Mayo posted it first: Pat Ford has taken his marbles and gone home. That doesn't surprise me. The tone of this, what can only be described as, invective, however, is a bit surprising.

Now, I've written/helped to write/read resignation letters before, but this one is pretty good. The normal resignation letter usually follows the formula: [Dear So & So] + [Announcement of Resignation] + [Resignation Effective Date] + [Statement of Warmth, Appreciation or other Acknowledgment of Time Served] + [Sincerely Whatshisname]. It is short, sweet and to the point.

This is not that kind of letter.

You can almost hear Pat take a big old, wet, Taco Bell-induced dump right on Ravenstahl's desk. Here's the short paragraph, by paragraph analysis of this letter:

(1) Dear Yarone
(2) I resign, but expect to be paid through the end of the year.
(3) Bob O'Connor was great.
(4) I'm a victim of Luke Ravenstahl's suckiness.
(5) You and Luke suck.
(6) You suck.
(7) You and this town obviously don't appreciate my awesomeness. Eat shit and die.
(8) Sincerely, etc..

I'm sure we'll be parsing, analyzing, and otherwise dissecting this letter in the days/weeks/months to come. My gut reaction is that the No. 2 which Pat so dramatically left is going to really hit the fan sometime soon. I would not be surprised if, with no bridges left to burn, he's going to take this opportunity to take somebody down with him, whether that's folks over at the URA, Yarone Zober, or even the Mayor himself. Pat has given the slobering mob some tasty morsels, which someone needs to take a closer look at. It will be interesting... especially if Ford turns into John Dean III.

Still, let's be fair here: there are plenty of dirty deeds left to be uncovered, and just because Ford fell on is sword as a martyr, does not mean that he is a saint and the rest of the administration is full of sinners.

What this all does illuminate is what seems to be a fractured administration being run by a guy who's not smart enough to realize how clever he's not. There's obviously tension between Ford and Zober, Ravenstahl and Ford, and Zober and Ravenstahl... Lord only knows how the rest of the Mayor's Office or any of the other City Departments line up on this fault lines (if there are only 3 of them, that is).

[As a side note: isn't Luke in Denver with Yarone this week? Isn't it convenient that Pat would drop this bomb with no one in town to rebut any charges?]

Getting back to the resignation, however, I find it preposterous that Pat ever thought he could return to the head of the URA. Even before this letter, Pat had lost valuable political capital and was increasingly becoming a liability to the Mayor. The Administration, however, dragged its feet on bringing down the axe on Ford, which allowed him to get in the first, angry strike.

I can believe that the current Administration was "interfering" with Ford while he was at the Housing Authority and the URA, but I'm sure that Ford's apparent aggressive and confrontational management style did not help matters much... and neither did some ridiculously stupid, public statements made by his camp in the last few weeks.

In the P-G report, Pat's lawyer did throw out the whole recent controversy over URA contracts to an engineering as "evidence" of corruption at the highest level. I think that's a bit of a red herring, especially considering it was a decision that was made, conveniently, while Pat was unavailable to make that decision. If there is an underlying culture of deception, Ford would have to be up to his neck in it, otherwise he's admitted to being deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid... or at least wholly unethical.

Stay tuned...


EdHeath said...

I thought at least part of the bidding process for the contract mentioned was done while Ford was still at the URA, although I could be wrong. But to me one really funny thing was that Pat Ford was maybe the only real change Ravenstahl made after "firing" all his directors last summer.

deegazette said...

Weather report---expect it to be raining shoes in Pittsburgh through the fall.

Anonymous said...

Pat's only role was to live up the ass of whoever was in charge and in his word, "you tell me what you want and I will get it for you". That was his only usefulness. He's just not used to being out of his hole.