Archive

ShareThis Page
Influential / Chelsa Wagner: The watchdog bites | TribLIVE.com
Featured Commentary

Influential / Chelsa Wagner: The watchdog bites

Tribune-Review
| Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:00 p.m

Who: Chelsa Wagner

Age: 37

Residence: North Point Breeze

Occupation: Allegheny County controller

Influential because: Wagner is the county’s financial watchdog, overseeing its books, contracts and payroll. She also serves ex officio as a member of the county retirement board, investment board, jail oversight board and juvenile detention board of advisers.

Influential nemesis: County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Wagner has clashed repeatedly with Fitzgerald, most recently accusing him of using his county-owned vehicle for personal and political purposes. Fitzgerald on Wednesday wrote the county a $42,000 check to cover the miles he put on the car since taking office in 2012.

Influential vehicle: Unlike Fitzgerald, Wagner has avoided using a county car. She owns a 2010 Toyota Prius.

Influential upbringing: Wagner was raised in Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood and attended Seton-LaSalle High School.

Influential education: Wagner has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Influential experience: Wagner worked as a business analyst for a private corporation before deciding to attend law school. After obtaining her law degree, she worked as an attorney in private practice before deciding to run for public office.

Influential in Harrisburg: Wagner was elected to the state House in 2006, defeating incumbent Michael Diven. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2010 before being elected controller in 2011.

Influential controversy: Wagner drew headlines immediately after taking office by boosting her salary 35 percent, from $66,500 to $89,904. The $23,000 raise was obtained by Wagner accepting nine years of cost-of-living increases that her predecessors as controller had declined to take.

Influential family: Wagner has a husband, Khari Mosley, and two sons.

Influential bloodlines: Wagner’s father, Pete Wagner, was the longtime Democratic Committee chairman in the City of Pittsburgh’s 19th Ward before stepping down in July; her uncle, Jack Wagner, is a former Pittsburgh city councilman, state senator and state auditor general.

Influential look ahead: Wagner’s term expires next year. Former controller Mark Patrick Flaherty is expected to run against her in the Democrat primary with Fitzgerald’s backing.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.