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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

An observation: Regarding Rich Fitzgerald. The big takeaway from the Allegheny County chief executive’s decision to turn in his county-provided 2007 Jeep and cut a personal check for nearly $43,000 for all of its mileage since he took office in 2012 is as fundamental as it is troubling: The ACE believes that county work can’t be separated from politics and personal business. But public trust and the law demand that separation. And if Mr. Fitzgerald can’t do so, perhaps he needs to find another job.

That said, no one expects elected leaders to pay for legitimate expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. With the slate now wiped clean — sans any criminal charges that are unlikely to come — and Fitzgerald using his personal vehicle, no one will fault him for seeking reimbursement for using that vehicle for bona fide county business.

On the “Watch List”: Pennsylvania’s new gun law. Pittsburgh joined Philadelphia, Lancaster and five Democrat state lawmakers this week to challenge a measure that reaffirms the supremacy of state laws in regulating firearms while giving gun rights groups standing to sue local jurisdictions over more vigorous laws. But it’s telling that the lawsuits seeking to overturn the new law do so not on its merits but on how it was passed. And while the plaintiffs might win this battle, it’s unlikely they can win the war.


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