Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Joe Conti: Defender of State Store clerks everywhere

Joe Conti: Defender of State Store clerks everywhere

 

Joe Conti, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's onetime CEO who recently joined the state's lobbying ranks, has a new client: some of his old employees, actually.

According to state lobbying disclosure records, Conti now represents the interests of the union that represents the interests of the clerks at the 600-plus state-run wine and spirits stores. That would be the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776, headed by Wendell W. Young IV.

Conti picked up the new account on September 16, according to his lobbying records. He did not immediately respond to calls.

But Young, whose union has been fighting an aggressive, Republican-led push for liquor privatization, said it made "perfect sense" to hire Conti, who oversaw some of the LCB's attempts to make the state-run stores more efficient and consumer-friendly.

Conti "retired" from his $156,000 position at the LCB in January, even as Gov. Corbett was preparing his most aggressive push yet to privatize the agency. Days after he announced his departure, the LCB decided to temporarily bring him back, at $80 dollars an hour.

Conti was brought back under a provision in the state retirement code that permits former employees to return on an emergency basis while still collecting pensions.

The move was controversial, as it came while the LCB contends with a state Ethics Commission probe into allegations that top officials at the LCB, Conti among them, accepted gifts and favors from vendors.

The Inquirer has reported that the clock is running down for state ethics investigators to complete that inquiry. Ethics investigators are given up to 360 days to report findings to the full commission,which then determines whether rules have been broken.Though the exact date of the inquiry began could not be learned, several lawyers involved in the case have said they were first told of in the summer of 2012.

from the $156,000 position in January, even as Gov. Corbett was preparing his most aggressive push yet to privatize the agency. Days after he announced his departure, the LCB decided to temporarily bring him back, for 95 days, at $80 an hour
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/LCB-chief-now-really-leaving.html#ewJ0oQS4qF0qhbA2.99

 

Conti "retired" from the $156,000 position in January, even as Gov. Corbett was preparing his most aggressive push yet to privatize the agency. Days after he announced his departure, the LCB decided to temporarily bring him back, for 95 days, at $80 an hour. (Read The Inquirer story on his departure here).

Conti was brought back under a provision in the state retirement code that permits former employees to return on an emergency basis while still collecting pensions.

The move was controversial, as it came while the LCB contends with a state Ethics Commission probe into allegations that top officials at the agency, Conti among them, accepted gifts and favors from vendors.

Conti, a onetime Republican legislator from Bucks County, could not be reached for immediate comment Monday.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/LCB-chief-now-really-leaving.html#Vh1iRpWV7rHLh5By.99

Joe Conti, the chief executive officer of the oft-maligned Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, is out the door.

This time, he will not be returning.

Conti "retired" from the $156,000 position in January, even as Gov. Corbett was preparing his most aggressive push yet to privatize the agency. Days after he announced his departure, the LCB decided to temporarily bring him back, for 95 days, at $80 an hour. (Read The Inquirer story on his departure here).

Conti was brought back under a provision in the state retirement code that permits former employees to return on an emergency basis while still collecting pensions.

The move was controversial, as it came while the LCB contends with a state Ethics Commission probe into allegations that top officials at the agency, Conti among them, accepted gifts and favors from vendors.

Conti, a onetime Republican legislator from Bucks County, could not be reached for immediate comment Monday.

LCB spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman said in an interview that Conti's last day is this coming Thursday.

The Inquirer reported last month that the clock is quickly running down for state ethics investigators to complete their inquiry. Ethics investigators are given up to 360 days to report findings to the full commission, which then determines whether rules were broken. Though the exact date the inquiry began could not be learned, several lawyers involved in the case said they first were told of it in mid-summer.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/LCB-chief-now-really-leaving.html#Vh1iRpWV7rHLh5By.99

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



Commonwealth Confidential team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected