2013-09-12 / Local & State

Ex-official Says Turnpike Should Be Under PennDOT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The recently retired inspector general at the Pennsylvania Turnpike believes it still has serious problems and should be put under the state Department of Transportation.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday that former inspector general Anthony Maniscola said political influence, patronage and payto play contracting remain pervasive.

Maniscola retired after spending five years as the agency’s first inspector general. He said there has been progress in rooting out corruption, but the four appointed members of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have a lot of say in hiring and how contracts are awarded.

He said the commission wastes money on contracts that go to low bidders, after which the cost is increased through frequent change orders. Instead, he said, the turnpike should base contract awards on performance.

Maniscola accused the commissioners treat the agency like a fiefdom.

“Transparency? That’s the one thing the turnpike doesn’t want,” he said.

A turnpike spokesman called Maniscola disgruntled after being passed over for a job, and said his comments ignore the agency’s progress.

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