Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The suspended head of the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority has submitted a fiery letter of resignation. Pat Ford says he will leave the post when his contract expires at the end of the year. He has been on paid leave since April when it was revealed that he accepted Christmas gifts from an executive for Lamar Advertising. The company has been embroiled in a controversial contract with the city. In the letter, Ford says he and his wife (former mayoral spokesperson Alecia Sirk) “are being persecuted with no support from the administration…” it goes on to say he supported the Ravenstahl administration because he thought it had vision but could no longer support the mayor because, “ … that vision never materialized, and as I have always said, 'Where there is no vision, people perish.’ I have no desire to perish along with Luke Ravenstahl's Pittsburgh." Mayor Ravenstahl is in Denver this week for the Democratic National Convention. He says he has not seen the letter but has learned of its contents. He says he is surprised and “saddened by some of the comments in it.” He says he was waiting to hear a definitive answer from the State Ethics Commission, which was investigating Ford’s actions, before making any decision on Ford’s future. Ravenstahl says he will have more comments when he returns home and has time to read and digest the contents of the letter.