Senator Wayne Fontana

Allegheny County – April 14, 2023 – Today, State Senator Wayne Fontana issued the following statement on VisitPittsburgh’s response to the Allegheny County Controller’s performance audit:

The administration of VisitPittsburgh is more focused on deflecting and spinning the facts of the recent Allegheny County Controller’s audit to their liking instead of just cooperating and disclosing all the information requested by the Controller’s office. I suspect this is on the advice of their political lobbyist who they pay thousands of dollars to each month.

However, the facts are the facts: spending close to $500,000 per year on office space in Downtown Pittsburgh, investing public funds in aggressive stocks that resulted in a loss of about $1 million, questionable accounting of public tax dollars, withholding the names and salaries of employees some of whom work in other cities, and a Board of Directors that does not include many of the stakeholders of tourism in our region.

What is needed immediately is a shakeup of VisitPittsburgh. It needs to be restructured, reorganized, and its management reevaluated. The goal needs to be to increase tourism, not to hide behind an agenda that prioritizes shifting blame, and organizational and personal survival. Our region’s non-profits and businesses that benefit from tourism should demand transparency, accountability, and cooperation from the VisitPittsburgh administration.

The County Controller’s audit is available here.