What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 9, 2008

Really? No, really??

From the Trib:
Former Pittsburgh Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle charged taxpayers for two plane tickets to Las Vegas even after prosecutors charged her in the kickback scheme that eventually sent her to prison.

An invoice showing the $726 round-trip tickets on a city-owned American Airline credit card shocked City Controller Michael Lamb, who refused Thursday to pay the eight-month-old bill.

I'm not going to pay it until I get a guarantee from the Law Department that they will pursue her for restitution," Lamb said.

The invoice, which Lamb received from the City's Clerk's office Tuesday, lists Carlisle and her mother, Constance B. Parker, as the passengers on the September flight.

Parker, 65, of Penn Hills couldn't recall the trip, and said she hadn't seen the bill. She said her daughter has paid her debt to society and should be left alone.

"How does this keep going on and on and on? Twanda is incarcerated. She is paying society back as best as she humanly can," Parker said during a phone interview. "Why is this one black woman being so ran through the media for two years on $43,000? All that money has been paid back."


Carlisle told City Clerk Linda Johnson-Wasler in October that she would reimburse the city for the plane tickets to Las Vegas, said City Council President Doug Shields.

Carlisle resigned from City Council in November and did not pay the bill as she had promised, Shields said. The invoice fell through the cracks, he said.


"I can't believe she did this," Shields said of Carlisle. "You shouldn't be using public funds to front your personal trip."
The article states that all City Council members were issued American Airline credit cards for travel prior to Act 47, but all the cards had been revoked except for Carlisle's and Peduto's (Shields is now planning to ask for Peduto's back).

We have no idea why they still had their cards, but wouldn't someone have wanted to -- oh, I don't know -- snatch back her card immediately after the indictments came down and perhaps cut it up in front of her?

Ms. Carlisle, may I see your card please? No, no, I have the City on the phone and I really need you to hand it over to me now. Thank you. [SNIP SNIP]

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