Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pushing an Elephant up the Stairs

When you've been involved in a State Ethics Investigation about whether you've traded gifts for influence, the last thing you want to do is send out a request soliciting money to help pay for your legal bills on the matter:

Pat Ford, the city development czar who has been on paid leave since April during an ethics investigation, and his wife are reaching out to friends -- including developers who have worked with Mr. Ford -- for help with his legal bills...

Ms. Sirk's e-mail says Mr. Ford is in the "fight of his life" and "he is committed to restoring his good name, his career, and the cooperative and productive relationships that he enjoyed with Pittsburgh's development community."

After saying that a confidential defense fund has been set up with Mr. Ford's attorney, she wrote, "I am contacting you because I know that you have worked with Pat in the past and appreciate how much he has given to our City. Pat wants what each of us wants, which is to move forward and get back to work."

Mr. Ford's attorney, Lawrence Fisher, said the fund was launched in June and has received "an outpouring of support." Neither he nor Ms. Sirk would identify who has given to the fund or how much is in it.

Asked if she was asking developers who work with the city for money, Ms. Sirk said via e-mail that the appeal "was a personal e-mail to friends. I never intended for the media to obtain a copy..."
Don't know what to say to all that. I'm seriously dumbfounded. I'm beginning to get the feeling that this whole sordid saga is just an Andy Kaufmann-esque meta joke about local government, because that seems to be the only justifiable and reasonable answer to this level of shenanigans.

I can't understand why anybody thought this was a good idea. Receiving gifts from friends was what got everyone in trouble in the first place... and why would you put the request in writing, where it can be easily copied, pasted, and distributed with a few quick clicks of a mouse?

I can only assume that Ford or Zober or Ferlo or somebody has something on the Mayor (hookers, blow, live boy, dead girl, etc.). That's the only other explanation for such cajones, outside of an intergender wrestling championship send up.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Boy, howdy.

Fifth / Forbes said...

There seems to be an endless parade of these clowns in local and state government needing to backpedal faster than Don Imus.

TC said...

"Did you really reach out to developers who do business with the city"

"Um... you weren't supposed to see that."

Honestly, how did this lady ever get to be a press secretary?