PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says it may have been illegal for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to give money to city employees on the show, “Undercover Boss.”
District Attorney Stephen Zappala tells KDKA’s Marty Griffin he has concerns about possible legal problems with how taxpayer dollars may have been spent by the mayor and his office with regard to the reality TV show.
On “Undercover Boss,” the mayor handed out $150,000. Peduto gave the checks to city employees he worked with while undercover on the show.
According to the district attorney, if that was taxpayer money those payments are illegal.
In a statement Zappala said: “Regarding the legality of this, that’s public money. That money cannot be disseminated as a bonus. They are not permitted to do that. The salaries of public employees are negotiated. You cannot just give a bonus.”
“We’ve reviewed this internally. I respect the district attorney, happy to sit down with him and talk about it,” said Kevin Acklin, the mayor’s chief of staff. “As of now, we have not received any indication that anything we did was other than in full compliance with city and state law.”
Zappala also tells KDKA he has been in contact with the state Ethics Commission, confirming they are also conducting an investigation.