Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner today, along with officials from her office, held a productive meeting with VisitPittsburgh’s Executive Staff. Wagner discussed her concerns and both parties agreed that those concerns would be deliberated fully by the VisitPittsburgh Board prior to the release of any additional money.
Those concerns, specifically, were that:
- taxpayer dollars cannot be gifted to public employees for personal use, and
- public officials should not unilaterally request distribution of taxpayer funds.
“I am confident that VisitPittsburgh, now with full information regarding how the money would be used and the limitation of use of such taxpayer dollars, will make the right decision,” Wagner said.
Controller Wagner will send a letter on Monday to VisitPittsburgh’s Board to memorialize that agreement, at which point she will release December’s funding disbursement of $681,744.44.
Additionally, Wagner indicated optimism that the questions raised by District Attorney Zappala will also result in the return of the initial $25,000 that has already been released to the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.
“VisitPittsburgh does a lot of great work for this region. It is unfortunate that they were put in this position. But I now believe that the process has been fully vetted and that everyone now has full information, and can make responsible decisions moving forward.”