PittsburghJack's Place: Just a Dawida coincidence?

PittsburghJack's Place

an outlet for political animals to share news, views and expose truths.

Just a Dawida coincidence?

Perhaps it just a coincidence, but I find it remarkably odd that two current or former Allegheny County Airport Authority members, Robert Lewis and David Minnotte, have both made very sizable investments in a Polish company run by Zygmunt Niziol.

"Początkowo 100 proc. jej udziałów miał Nedepol. Jednak we wrześniu 1996 na mocy umów podpisywanych w Pittsburgu w USA największą część udziałów (49 proc.) kupił w LFO prezes Nedepolu Zygmunt Nizioł, obywatel brytyjski. Po 16,5 proc. dwaj Amerykanie z Pittsburga Robert Lewis i Dawid W. Minnotte, 8 proc. Włodzimierz Wapiński ze Szwecji, 1 proc. Bjorn Hedberg, również Szwed, 9 proc. zachował Nedepol, którego głównym udziałowcem jest żona prezesa Nizioła, Irmina Czarzasta-Nizioł."

Who is Zygmunt Niziol you ask? He just happens to be a cousin of Mike Dawida's wife and the godfather of his daughter.

Robert Lewis, president of Orbital Engineering, also has been known as an ardent supporter and substantial financial contributor to Dawida campaigns. In addition, Dawida has awarded no-bid contracts to firms with ties to Lewis.

"In March 1999, when Cranmer and Dawida gave Doepken Keevican a contract to try to get the county a piece of the state's $11.3 million settlement with tobacco companies, Dunn called it "election-year patronage." Sneath's firm eventually received $48,039 for its work, which culminated in a county decision to fold up its legal tent in return for vague guarantees from the state. Law firm Lewis & Lewis, whose partners are related to top Dawida backer Robert Lewis, got $43,885 for its work on the case, and Pietragallo, Bosick and Gordon, which employed former Dawida Chief of Staff Martin Durkin, reeled in $78,089."

When he served as Allegheny County commissioner, Dawida also pushed hard for the appointment of Lewis, a Florida resident, to chair the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

I think Dawida should address these coincidences and quit trying to do what he does best -- taking advantage of the public's trust.
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At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

Dude, that was 9 years ago. Any new information on that deal? Like how much money = sizeable? What's happened to the company since then?

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There actually is information that be gotten from the web, but unfortunately 99.9% of it is written in the Polish language. There are, however, online translators, but they are incredibly choppy at best. There were a couple government (Polish) reports on foreign business investments and they indicated what appeared to be a $40 million stake (and also listed the percentage of stock owned) by Lewis in the company.

Yes, this particular example was nine years ago, but does or should that matter? You can be certain there is more, as Dawida is not as squeaky clean as he would have you believe.

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Pilsner 2 said...

Is there a statute of limitations on crookery?

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

You seem to imply that something shady is going on vis-a-vis Dawida.
Well, several very large, and well respected, law firms in Pittsburgh got $150,000 or so worth of legal fees (presumably because they actually did work for the county). Big deal - governments contract with law firms to handle legal work all the time.

If Bobby Lewis met Dawida's wife's cousin through Dawida, so what? Lewis is still risking his own money - and got what in return from Dawida? Some contracts for law firms that have "ties" to Lewis, but who also have ties to just about eveyone else who resides in Pittsburgh? That's not exactly a corruption.

Sounds more like Lewis knowing how to "network" and find potential investment opportunities - which may or may not pan out in the end.

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you really need to get facts right before any speculation of hypothesis to fit your predetermined 'fact'

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Lewis is a good for.nothing dead beat dad.


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