ShareThis Page
Consultant working on Swissvale finances |

Consultant working on Swissvale finances

| Sunday, December 16, 2001 12:00 a.m

Debby Grass, whose Dormont-based consulting service, DG Consulting and Project Management, has contracted to work with the borough of Swissvale in the aftermath of the dismissal and arrest of the borough’s former manager, Tom Esposito. Esposito was arrested in November and charged with stealing more than $800,000 from the borough over an 11- year period. Investigators say Esposito transferred money from several borough accounts into the payroll account and wrote himself more than 600 extra payroll checks. Grass is providing interim borough management services until a new manager is hired.

What kind of financial condition is the borough in?

“They’ve introduced a budget for 2002 which is on public view and has no tax increase. The milage last year was 9.1, and this budget holds the line on all the departmental services. The borough for this year is at least at the break-even point and should have a little bit of a cash surplus, possibly around $100,000.”

One of the red flags on what was happening with borough accounts was the borough’s debt in excess of $1 million that piled up with Alcosan. We understand that the borough made a $400,000 payment in October. How do things stand with that account?

“The borough made all of their payments to Alcosan for this year. Obviously, there are some back payments that are due. But we have a payment schedule set up to pay all of those off. We expect to bring that account substantially current by early next year.”

How much of your work relates to procedural issues brought up after Espostio’s departure?

“None of my work has much relationship to that. It’s more just streamlining their functions and setting up their funds in a logical way so they’ll be able to get good reports, so that council will get monthly reports on every fund.” Grass said she is streamlining the borough’s accounts to create fewer accounts to make reporting to council easier. “They had a lot of back accounts that were relatively inactive; it’s just good accounting practices and good business practices.”

How long are you contracted to work with the borough?

Grass said she interviewed with council in early September and her service agreement started Sept. 17. She said the agreement, which pays her $55 an hour for no more than 20 hours per week, will terminate when council hires a new manager. She said the target date for hiring a new manager in Swissvale is Feb. 20. She said she would make herself available to the borough after that if the need should arise.

is a former freelancer.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.