More Turnpike News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the draw of investors to a Turnpike lease. They also heavily quote Turnpike Commission vice chairman Tim Carson (who they also identify as a bond lawyer, relevant given he is pushing for the Turnpike Commission to be authorized to issue billions in new bonds):

Carson conceded that the Turnpike Commission has a reputation for patronage and financial boondoggles, but insisted that image is based on practices that ended decades ago.

“We’re not your father’s turnpike,” he said

Oh, really?

From Toll Road News:

A 272 page federal indictment of state Senator Vincent Fumo (Dem) for corruption details involvement of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and implies the Turnpike’s chairman, Mitchell Rubin collaborated in some of Fumo’s thievery. The indictment says (p43 #83) that between April 2003 and December 2004 the Turnpike paid $220,000 in checks of $10,000 a month to a man identified as Senate Contractor #4 (SC4) under a phony contract as a consultant. The indictment says that the man worked on Sen Vincent Fumo’s Harrisburg area farm in return for the payments he was getting from the Turnpike.

And more from Toll Road News:

The chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Mitchell Rubin is accused in the US indictment of Senator Vincent Fumo and three associates of multiple counts of defrauding the state of Pennsylvania.

The fraud charged against Mitchell Rubin is that he provided no work product in return for a contract providing “professional services to the (Senate) Democratic Appropriations Committee to include, but not be limited to research, analysis, and make recommendations on legislative matters, assist on constituent services.” (p45 #90) The contract arranged with Rubin by Sen Fumo paid him $150k or $30k/year for five years 1999 to 2004 (when the feds were well into their investigation of Fumo).

The indictment states: “Neither the Senate nor (Rubin’s) firm possesses any documentary evidence, such as notes and reports, showing that he or his firm ever provided any ‘research, analysis (or) recommendations on legislative matters’ or anything related to constituent services…(Rubin) did little or no actual senate work at all.” (p45 #91)

I would hate to see my “father’s Turnpike.”