Councilwoman subpoenas safety director for snowstorm session
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Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak today subpoenaed Public Safety Director Michael Huss to appear before council to discuss the city's response to the Feb. 5-6 snowstorm.
Ms. Rudiak, who's leading a council task force studying the response, said she issued the subpoena after seven formal requests to speak with him went unanswered.
The city was widely criticized for slow street and sidewalk clearing after the storm, which dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on the city. Subsequent snow storms hampered cleanup efforts.
The subpoena, an unusual step for a council member to take with the administration, directs Mr. Huss to appear before council at 10 a.m. May 10.
"One of the biggest problems during the snow storm was a lack of communication and coordination between government offices," Ms. Rudiak said in a statement. "If we can't communicate about an emergency, how can we be expected to communicate during an emergency?"
Mr. Huss later said he'd be happy to appear before council and will bring the police, fire and EMS chiefs with him.
He said he never objected to a public discussion of the matter but didn't believe a "closed-door" session with Ms. Rudiak would benefit the public or improve emergency response.
Mr. Huss said he'll attend the council meeting even though city Solicitor Dan Regan concluded the subpoena was invalid because it came from one council member instead of the whole body.
First Published April 28, 2010 3:19 pm