PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Governor-elect Tom Wolf called a press conference in Pittsburgh Friday, in part, to sing the praises of his first Cabinet appointment from Allegheny County – Dennis Davin as secretary of Community & Economic Development.
“What I want to do as governor is capture the magic that we really see out here in western Pennsylvania,” said Wolf. “One of the people who has made this work is Dennis. That’s why I am really proud to have enticed him to work with me in Harrisburg so we can expand the magic from western Pennsylvania to the rest of the state.”
And Wolf confirmed he was talking to another local man – Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar to be state police commissioner.
“Yeah, I’ve talked to a number of people, and he’s one of the people I’ve talked to,” said Wolf. “I think he along with a lot of others are outstanding candidates.”
Wolf said he hoped to have all the Cabinet positions named by Jan. 20 when he’s sworn in as governor.
But Wolf was clearly angered by Gov. Tom Corbett’s last-minute appointment of a senior Republican staffer to a six-year, $140,000-a-year job.
“I don’t understand why that happened. It’s a midnight appointment. He [Corbett] is going to be out of office in a week and a half,” said Wolf.
On Friday morning, Corbett named Erik Arneson, a senior staffer to Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi, as executive director of the Open Records Office.
Wolf: “I’m concerned about the process. I think this is the kind of thing that makes the public legitimately skeptical about their public servants that this kind of thing happens. It seems like gamesmanship, and I don’t understand it.”
KDKA’s Jon Delano: “Can you rescind this on Jan. 20?”
Wolf: “We’ll see.”
Delano: “Are you actively looking to see whether or not you can do that?”
Wolf: “I’m looking at all kinds of possibilities.”
It’s not clear at all that the governor-elect can do anything about this appointment. He says it’s nothing personal with respect to Arneson. It’s the process that’s at fault here.
He was also asked about Attorney General Kathleen Kane and press reports that she may be charged with violating the Secrecy Act with respect to grand jury proceedings. He says it is way too premature for him to make any comment at all about that.
As for the death penalty, the governor-elect says effective Jan. 20 there will be a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania until he can establish that it is fair and consistent for everyone.
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