What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 3, 2011

Roddy Relocates

From the City Paper:
Dennis Roddy, a fixture of Pittsburgh journalism for nearly four decades, is leaving the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and taking a job in the fledgling Corbett Administration.

"It was time for me, at age 57, to find out if I possess any transferable skills," says Roddy.

Roddy's job will be in communications. And while he says his exact duties have yet to be defined, he won't be a spokesman: "Let's face it -- no one would believe anything a reporter has to say."
Well, let's take a look at what this reporter HAS said.

It was Roddy who wrote about the Richard Mellon Scaife divorce:
The divorce case titled Scaife v. Scaife has wound its way through the courts under a blanket of secrecy as both sides struggle over a storied Pittsburgh fortune surpassing $1.4 billion and a temporary monthly alimony payment bigger than the life savings of most people.

Margaret Ritchie Battle Scaife, 60, and her husband, Mellon banking and oil heir Richard Mellon Scaife, 75, have been unable to agree on support payments, whether one of his newspapers is a hobby or a business investment, and even the date of their separation. She says they split in December 2005, after she caught him in an affair. He says they separated 10 months earlier.

Details of the dispute have remained out of the public eye for more than a year. Lawyers for Mr. Scaife, a reclusive financier of the political right who underwrote much of the campaign against the Clinton administration in the 1990s, asked Allegheny County Judge Alan Hertzberg to seal the record of his divorce. The judge complied.
Yea, I led with Scaife. Deal with it. By the way, the temporary alimony payments Roddy mentioned? $725,000 per month.

And it was Dennis Roddy who wrote so lovingly about everyone's favorite County Council man Chuck McCullough:
The single largest donor to Allegheny County candidates this year is a 90-year-old Upper St. Clair widow who hasn't voted for seven years and says she never agreed to give $10,000 each to four Republican candidates, including one for Superior Court and three for Allegheny County Council.

Shirley H. Jordan, whose late husband, attorney Fred Jordan, pioneered workers' compensation law and invested widely, is on record with contributions of $10,000 each to Cheryl Allen, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Superior Court, and County Council candidates Vince Gastgeb, Jan Rea and Susan Caldwell. The checks were drawn from the Shirley Jordan Trust, housed at Northwest Savings Bank, and signed by a bank trustee.
She blamed the donation on her attorney, Charles McCullough, himself a candidate for County Council. Mr. McCullough took control of Mrs. Jordan's affairs following a court dispute that began after she was taken in 2005 to St. Clair Hospital, where a doctor diagnosed her with moderate dementia. A Common Pleas Court judge later declared her incapacitated.
McCullough's still on County Council - even after being indicted. And although his trial is scheduled to begin in May, he's showing he's got some humongous cojones. From Jim O'Toole at the P-G:
The next few days could clarify the murky Republican picture on the race to succeed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

So far, no one has declared for the GOP nomination, but three potential candidates -- each of them surprising in different ways -- are reported to be considering the race.

Perhaps most startling is the possibility that county Councilman Chuck McCullough could flout his criminal court indictment by running for the GOP nomination for the county's top job.
It's amazing that the Allegheny County GOP can include BOTH Mark DeSantis (who's a good guy) and Chuck McCullough (who, if all this reporting is to be believed, just isn't).

Roddy even became part of the McCullough story. From June of '09, we was reported (quoting the criminal indictment) that McCullough was being charged with:
Two counts of making false reports to law enforcement. McCullough is charged with falsely reporting to Upper St. Clair police that P-G reporter Dennis Roddy had harassed Jordan when no harassment occurred.
Did I say that Chuck's still on County Council?

And let's not forget Dennis being on the receiving end of Mayor Luke's more memorable examples of public safety largess. At G20 time, Dennis was among those gassed by the Luke's police in Oakland.

Bon Voyage, my friend. Knock 'em dead in Harrisburg.


Anonymous said...

Dennis Roddy a great job on exposing a local mortgage fraud, a few years ago, covering the victims, as well as the fraud itself. Sadly, the sort of in-depth reporting and analysis that he did for the P-G is getting more and more rare. I'll miss him, and his excellent journalism.

NorthPGH Progressive said...

I will share what I read on CasablancaPA:

According to the Grand Jury Act, persons sworn to secrecy during grand jury proceedings shall be held in contempt of court if they reveal any information which they are sworn to keep secret. Each participant in the grand jury proceeding: the prosecutor, the jurors, and the investigators, must take an oath not to reveal anything that occurs inside the jury room.

And what does the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists have to say about anonymous sources? "Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability ... Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity."

What could possibly be the motive behind leaking damaging information about Democrats in the months before a critical legislative election, and upon the unofficial launch of a Republican prosecutor's gubernatorial campaign? The anonymously-sourced reporting mysteriously dried up during Corbett's ass-covering investigation of House Republicans.

Enjoy your new job, Mr. Roddy. You've earned it.

DennisRoddy said...

"The anonymously-sourced reporting mysteriously dried up during Corbett's ass-covering investigation of House Republicans."




Bram Reichbaum said...

I haven't seen anything about this in the paper, or online, or on PG+ ... have you?

Maybe Sunday. Or maybe he just wasn't their Patrice King Brown.