Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

May 11, 2006

Auditor general to review Pete construction documents

State Auditor General Jack Wagner has asked for a preliminary review of internal documents involving the construction of the Petersen Events Center, which was overseen by the state Department of General Services (DGS).

But that action is not to be misconstrued as the beginning of an investigation, according to Steve Halvonik, communications spokesperson for Wagner’s office.

“We audit the Department of General Services and we audit Pitt every two years, and I can tell you there has never been a separate audit of the Petersen Events Center and that is not our intention now,” Halvonik said.

Halvonik told the University Times last week that published newspaper reports put too much emphasis on the possibility of an investigation occurring.

“It is factually accurate to say that Jack [Wagner] has directed the staff to see what documents we have that are available,” Halvonik said. “But it is not accurate to say we have begun an investigation of the Petersen Events Center or that this is a prelude to an investigation.”

The move was prompted by the large number of sometimes contradictory media reports published since the Petersen Center opened in 2002, Halvonik said. Wagner is aware of those reports. “This is simply a gathering of documents to see what information we have internally and how it squares up to published reports [over time],” Halvonik said.

Wagner asked the performance audits office to collect documents and make a report. There is no timetable set for filing the report. “It could be weeks, it might be months,” Halvonik said.

He added that with lawsuits still pending between Pitt/DGS and contractors who designed and built The Pete (see University Times Jan. 6, 2005), the auditor general’s office does not want to inject itself into the process. “We prefer to let those run their course without our interference,” he said.

—Peter Hart

Leave a Reply