New solicitor hired at City Hall

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Washington City Hall has yet another new face.


During a special meeting Monday night, City Council voted to accept the resignation of its solicitor of 5 1/2 years, Lane Turturice. Jack Cambest, with the firm of Dodaro, Matta & Cambest of Pittsburgh, was hired to replace Turturice.


The move came following an executive session to discuss “personnel matters and possible litigation,” said Mayor Brenda Davis.


Turturice was present for the executive session, leaving the building after it ended. He stated he plans to concentrate on his campaign for Washington County judge.


“It’s a good time to go, and I need to concentrate on things in my campaign and my kids,” he said. “The city has a lot of night meetings, and my wife has been looking for me to cut back for some time.”


Questioned about his relationship with Davis, Turturice stated he wished her well. “I think the mayor is genuinely trying to do a good job in the city,” he said.


Davis said six firms had applied for the position and the city needed someone with “extreme experience” in government operations.


Cambest will be paid an hourly rate of $105. His firm has specialized in public entity law for 35 years, he said. He is the solicitor for Peters Township School District and previously served in that capacity in North Franklin Township.


Another professional change at City Hall was the naming of a third police chief. Chris Luppino was officially hired as chief at a salary of $65,996 at the meeting.


Davis named Luppino last week to replace acting chief Robert Wilson. Wilson remains with the department as he withdrew his letter of resignation last week. Davis said Wilson is now the department’s night-time supervisor and will work a 4 p.m. to midnight shift. Monday was his first day back at work.


Davis also disclosed it was the second time since August that Wilson had submitted his resignation and withdrawn it.


Council failed to approve a motion to authorize Senate Engineering to serve as project manager and engineer for a 2013 storm inlet project the firm had designed. The citywide project would address flooding to homes in the 6th Ward and an infrastructure project surrounded by an active gas line. The city plans to pay for the $40,000 project with Act 13 impact fees.


Noting that the city’s engineering firm is now Widmer Engineering, council tabled the vote until Cambest determines if the city’s insurance carrier would cover Senate since it is not the engineer of record.


Matt Staniszewski later sent an e-mail stating the projects are vital ones that are being delayed by council playing political games.


But Davis said Staniszewski put the project out to bid without a vote by her and City Council.


“But we have a new solicitor now, and we’re going to do things by the book,” she said.


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