New York — The long-simmering feud between Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Controller Chelsa Wagner came to a head on Friday when Fitzgerald made Wagner leave a reception he was co-hosting.
This reporter witnessed Fitzgerald staff approach Wagner and escort her to the exit.
The two have been at odds since Fitzgerald accused her of reneging on a campaign promise. Before the two took office, Allegheny County Council passed a 1-mill tax increase, and despite Fitzgerald’s request that Wagner issue a press release supporting the action, she did not support it publicly.
Wagner snapped the selfie, above, shortly before she was removed.
The Friday evening reception at Inside Park at St. Bart’s was organized by Fitzgerald and his political ally, Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto.
Peduto missed the event due to a last-minute addition to his Friday schedule: a Washington, D.C. meeting with President Obama along with 15 other newly elected mayors.
A source close to Wagner said she had received an invitation to the event and had RSVPed a week ahead of time.
Other PA Society news:
Several attendees remarked on Governor Corbett’s higher-than-normal level of activity. “He is really working it,” said one veteran of Pa. Society events. Corbett lost about 30 pounds in the past months and the Governor, normally an early bird, was seen out as late as 1:45am.
First elected in 2011, Superior Court Judge David Wecht is reportedly already looking at a run for Pa. Supreme Court in 2015.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Chester) is likely to get a primary challenger. The center of gravity of PA-16 was further shifted to Lancaster County during redistricting, and at least two Republicans there are considering a bid.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s reception had the best food, hands down. Oysters and crab legs were served alongside the open bar.
IBEW 98’s party was large and loud as usual. This year’s book giveaway: Tough Cop by Mike Chitwood.
The PoliticsPA Governor Mifflin Society reception was so packed, even former Governor Ed Rendell couldn’t get in. The Waldorf Astoria fire marshall turned the Governor and others away away from the Louis XVI Suite due to overcrowding.