Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where the pig bought her lipstick

An interesting story surfaced today on the PLCB's 'charm school' efforts. Here's the nut, from today's Inquirer:

The president of the Pittsburgh-based company hired to train state liquor-store clerks and managers in the basics of being nice is married to one of the Liquor Control Board's top-level employees.
Buddy Hobart, president of the Solutions 21 consulting firm hired to conduct the training, is the husband of Susanne Hobart, the Liquor Control Board's regional manager in Pittsburgh. Hobart, who is paid $85,000 a year, is one of only three regional managers for the agency.
Liquor Control Board officials said yesterday that Susanne Hobart has no sway over contract matters in general and had no say over the $174,000 contract recently awarded to Solutions 21.
The contract, according to the PLCB, is "in compliance" with the state's Adverse Interest Act. Which is good, I'd hate to have it not be. Hobart's firm was one of five that bid, and submitted "the lowest and best" offer, according to the PLCB spokesperson. But my kids used to listen to John Flynn's The Duck Song when they were little, and I think it's instructive at this juncture:

If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck
And there's duck-do on your pick-up truck
Buddy you can bet your bottom buck
It ain't no armadillo
This contract looks like a duck, at this point. Haven't heard it quack yet. But...the husband of one of the PLCB's top managers (who will be getting the training, by the way) gets a juicy contract for services that, realistically, the PLCB doesn't even need -- monopoly, you gotta get your booze here cuz the law says you got no choice, remember? -- and they're telling us it's an armadillo. Maybe it is.

But maybe we should check the pick-up truck.

There's a better, more complete story at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, too.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you/we should be happy about such transparent, moronic and easy-to-uncover corruption. Imagine what could be stolen if this husband and wife combo each had a pair of functioning frontal lobes. On the other hand, I see no reason they shouldn't both do a little quality time in the clink.

Anonymous said...

Larry: Unfortunately in this state "transparent, moronic and easy-to-uncover corruption" is the norm. Our officials just don't care, have no fear of retribution and are bold enough to do this kind of shit right out in the open.