In another stunning effort to spin negative publicity, City Councilwoman Darlene Harris claims that she did not order a smoke eater machine to de-stuffify her office. Ms. Harris simply wanted some box fans and now she is outraged, outraged I tell you, that someone mistakenly spent $1200 on the smoke eater.
“I wanted a little square box” with a ventilation fan, she said. Gesturing at the 2-foot-by-4-foot Trion Eliminator Series SE 800E mounted in the ceiling above her desk, she said, “When I came in and saw that thing, I couldn't believe it.”
Harris, along with Student Body President Doug Shields, was featured in a recent Post-Gazette article about illicit smoking in the City-County Building. Both admitted that they smoke in spite of a smoke prohibition rule going back before our new county-wide ban. Neither seemed the least bit penitent which doesn't bode well for them to follow the new law.
To summarize thus far, Harris has completely missed the point that this is about SMOKING not a smoke eating machine. Her umbrage is matched only by her ridiculousness. Not only is she refusing to take responsibility for breaking the law, but she's now pointing fingers at her political enemies whoever they may be:
She said she has asked Public Works Director Guy Costa why the device was ordered and installed when she only wanted a ceiling fan.
“I'm still trying to find that out, and I don't know if I ever will,” she said. “I'd like to know, is this politics, or what?”
Yes, Darlene, it is politics at its most sad when an elected city leader openly violates the law because she's too lazy/proud/arrogant to go outside like the rest of the city employees. It is politics at its lowest when an elected city leader shifts responsibility for her own stupid choices onto the shoulders of said city employees. Public Works gets enough guff without having to ante up for your mistakes.
It is politics at its most disgusting when an elected city leader assumes we are foolish enough to be distracted from her illegal activities by other issues.
Ms. Harris said she has occasionally smoked in the office on nights when she was working late. She said she's been working hard to get more plainclothes police in North Side neighborhoods, catalog abandoned houses, identify drug and prostitution hot spots and write legislation to govern absentee landlords.
Let me get this straight — according to her logic, if we want a more lawful community, she's going to have to break a few laws. If we want healthier communities for our families and children, she's going to have to compromise the health of her staffers and others who visit the building. If we want absentee landlords to take responsibility for their property, she's going to need the freedom to place responsibility on others.
She should have left well enough alone after the last article. Doug Shields came off like a giggling schoolboy with a big man-crush on Luke, but that's nothing to the political harridan that is Darlene Harris.