Government as Defendant: A Worrisome Trend in Allegheny County

Beginning in 2005, the government of Allegheny County embarked on a path of enacting ordinances and engaging in other activities that likely has no parallel in the annals of local government in Pennsylvania for displaying a willingness to violate, ignore or circumvent Commonwealth statutes, the state’s Constitution and the County Charter. In at least three high profile instances, the courts have overturned ordinances passed by Council and signed by the Chief Executive. One of these ordinances was enacted despite an unambiguous opinion of the County solicitor that passing the legislation would violate state law. It passed 14 to 1 anyway. Continue