Port Authority board postpones decision on CEO Bland

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The Port Authority board of directors today postponed a meeting at which they were expected to decide the fate of CEO Steve Bland.

The meeting was rescheduled for next Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie announced the rescheduling 20 minutes after the scheduled start of today's meeting. He gave no reason for the postponement.

None of the nine board members nor Mr. Bland appeared in the Port Authority's Downtown board room.

Mr. Bland is expected either to resign and accept a severance package or to face a motion calling for his termination when the board of directors meets, according to a source knowledgeable about the situation.

It was unclear Thursday night whether the nine-member board had enough votes to fire Mr. Bland, a source said.

The board has strongly supported him in the past.

"Right now, we're in limbo," said a board member who plans to vote against firing Mr. Bland.

The board member, who asked not to be named, said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is trying to interfere with the agency's operations.

"I feel sorry for Steve [Bland]," the board member said. "He's done the job."

Amie Downs, a spokeswoman for Mr. Fitzgerald, said the county does not comment on personnel issues.

Although the Port Authority operates semi-independently of the county, its directors are appointed by the county executive and then approved by county council. The board selects the CEO.

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Bland have had a strained relationship in the past.

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Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1868 and on Twitter: @pgtraffic. First Published January 25, 2013 3:00 PM


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