Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s administration is embroiled in a controversy involving questionable payments to a contractor.

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation department has paid Mario Ashkar almost $23,000 for his work as a contractor. The payments have been via municipal credit cards, known as p-cards, which has lead to concerns and scrutiny.

Ashkar, 36, of the city’s North Side, was recently charged in connection with several ethnic intimidation incidents.

Questions have arisen about why Ashkar was permitted to work as a contractor for the city after previously being fired from a different department.

TribLive’s Pittsburgh city hall reporter Julia Felton breaks down the story.

Posted in From The TribLIVE Newsroom