City Council president Doug Shields has sent letters to the US Attorney's office and the state Attorney General seeking an investigation into alleged improprieties at the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
In the letters, sent to state AG Tom Corbett and US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, Shields contends that Ford's Aug. 27 resignation letter had taken "the discussion of pay to play and no bid gift contracts to contributors out of the realm of rumor and into the arena of public discourse. [Emphasis in the original]" (See a copy of Shields' letter here.) In his resignation letter Ford, who was put on paid administrative leave earlier this year pending an ethics investigation, said he did not wish to return to a job "where I will again be forced to serve as a scapegoat for the inappropriate affairs and activities of others."
But Ford and the URA appeared to settle their diferences yesterday, with a settlement that paid he and his wife, former press secretary Alicia Sirk, more than $90,000. In his letter, Shields contends that the money is "being used in conjunction with what is effectively a gag order." And he urges both Corbett and Buchanan to "determine the truth ... The people of Pittsburgh deserve answers and I am hopeful that you will expeditiously pursue an avenue of official inquiry."
More details in next week's City Paper.