Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-645-2265

July 1, 2013
Pa. Turnpike CEO Appoints Members to Special Advisory Committee

Three members will meet to review and enhance commission business practices and policies.
HARRISBURG, PA. (July 1, 2013) – Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton today announced the names of the three individuals appointed to a special advisory committee to review Turnpike policies and procedures relating to contracting and business practices. Compton first announced the creation of the advisory committee on March 18 in response to grand-jury presentments issued by the state attorney general.

“The advisory-committee members will assist us in examining how the Turnpike conducts business, what is working and what needs improvement,” Compton said. “In the past two years, we have revamped our procurement process to provide more transparency and greater accountability. I will look to our advisory committee to help us determine what else we can do to restore the reputation of this great agency.”

Compton appointed the following members to the committee:

  • John L. Gedid of Mechanicsburg, Pa., a retired law professor and founder and director of the Law & Government Institute at Widener University School of Law's Harrisburg Campus;

  • Maureen Lally-Green of Cranberry Township, Pa., a longtime and now retired State Superior Court judge and adjunct professor at Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, who serves or has served on numerous boards across Pennsylvania and who presently serves as an associate general secretary of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh; and

  • M.G. Patel of Harrisburg, Pa., a former construction-company executive and retired Chief Engineer at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation who served at PennDOT more than 30 years.

“These three individuals bring an extensive range of education and experience to the table, and they’re anxious to get started with their policy review in July,” Compton said. “Between them, there really isn’t much they haven’t encountered throughout their distinguished careers, and that serves our purpose quite well.”

Creation of the three-member committee was approved by the Turnpike Commission at its June 4 meeting. Committee members will meet regularly to review and critique Turnpike contracting policies and other business practices and to research best-practices at comparable agencies to see where further improvements can be made.

Committee members will serve for a term of one year or until the task has been completed — whichever comes first. The CEO can extend a member’s term for an additional year. Committee members will not be paid a salary or wage but can be reimbursed for travel and related expenses at the CEO’s discretion in accordance with Turnpike Commission policy. Commission employees, officials, contractors and consultants are ineligible to serve on the committee.

“This committee, along with the work of our compliance department and the other process improvements we are implementing, signifies another vital step to ensure that the Pennsylvania Turnpike continues to move forward,” Compton said. “It’s going to require a persistent effort by our leadership team and the cooperation of every commission employee to reform this agency and put this chapter behind us.”

Along with creation of the advisory committee, Compton announced three other actions on March 18 in response to the presentments. Here is a list of the actions and a progress update:

  • Contracts Review — Turnpike staff continues its review of current and expired professional-services contracts with companies that were named in the attorney general’s presentment. In addition, staff is reviewing contracts with all companies that were mentioned in testimony cited in the presentment. The reviews are ongoing.

  • Code-of-Conduct Review — A thorough review of the commission’s existing code of conduct is under way and ongoing. In addition, the commission has initiated a comprehensive, mandatory code-of-conduct and ethics training program for employees, which is scheduled to commence later this summer.

  • Business-Partner Letter — On April 4, the Turnpike’s compliance department sent a letter to all professional-service providers. It reassured contractors that integrity is of utmost concern and outlined ongoing procurement changes; the mailing included the commission’s code of conduct and information on how to report fraud or abuse.