Friday, February 6, 2015

NAME THAT PARTY: Ex-Pittsburgh councilwoman convicted in govt kickback scheme may run for old seat...


Ex-councilwoman Carlisle may run for former Pittsburgh council seat

Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Former Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle

A former Pittsburgh councilwoman convicted in a government kickback scheme said Friday she has paid for her mistakes and might run for her former City Council seat.

Twanda Carlisle, 56, of East Hills filed a letter of intent to seek the Democratic Party's endorsement for the East End council district that Councilman Ricky Burgess has represented since Carlisle resigned in 2007.

“There is an intent to run for office, but I don't know if I am or not at this particular point,” Carlisle said. “If I do, I'll give my community the courtesy of having a formal announcement.”

Carlisle represented District 9 from 2002 to November 2007, the month she stepped down and pleaded no contest to 17 counts of theft and other charges related to a $43,000 scheme that included taxpayer-funded personal purchases, including a mink coat, jewelry and electronics, and money paid to friends.

A judge sentenced her to one to two years in prison. She was paroled after eight months.

“We all fall down; it's how we get back up that matters,” Carlisle said. “We all make mistakes in life. … I've certainly paid for the mistakes that I have made. That was the past.”

Carlisle, who works as office manager for the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP, has until Friday to pay the $3,500 filing fee required to seek the Allegheny County Democratic Committee's endorsement. Committee members are scheduled to vote on endorsements March 8.

Carlisle submitted a letter to the committee under the heading of her committee name: “A Better Carlisle For City Council.”

“I will work extremely hard to gain the respect and support of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, as well as the District 9 committee people and community at large,” she wrote.

If she runs, Carlisle would face Burgess, 57, of North Point Breeze, who is seeking re-election.

Judith K. Ginyard, 56, a real estate broker from North Point Breeze, and Andre Young, 62, a Stanton Heights businessman, have said they plan to run for the seat.

The district includes East Hills, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Point Breeze and Stanton Heights.


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