$40K contract with former city councilman Shields proposed
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Darlene Harris on Monday introduced legislation to grant a former council ally a $40,000 contract in exchange for consulting services he began providing to her office months ago.
Harris said she discovered after hiring Doug Shields, 61, of Squirrel Hill in June that a city ordinance required her to advertise for proposals from other consultants. Shields, who served on council for eight years before losing a district judge race in 2011 and leaving office later that year, said he hasn’t been paid since July.
The advertisement appeared on the city website in September. Shields was the only respondent, Harris said.
“The city moves very slowly,” Shields said, adding that he is owed about $10,000 for his work. “I haven’t calculated it yet, but it would be for the months of August, September and October.”
Council is scheduled to discuss the contract next week.
Harris of Spring Hill said she hired Shields to provide constituent services, research legislation and draft policy proposals because she had a vacancy in her office staff and he had more experience in city government than anyone else she could find. She denied that it was politically motived. Harris and Shields are Democrats.
If the contract is approved, Shields would be paid $20 an hour and as much as $40,000 a year. He must provide his own insurance and is not eligible for benefits, according to the contract. He can continue to collect his city pension of $25,200 a year.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.