State Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-9) said through a spokesperson this week that he had always planned to repay the Pittsburgh Steelers for a recent trip to the Super Bowl in Dallas.
Pileggi has come under some criticism over the trip — initially paid for by the Steelers — after it was revealed that another state senator, Joe Scarnati, received a free trip to the game from Consol Energy, one of the companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. After that uproar, Scarnati announced he would repay Consol for the trip.
In the case of Pileggi, the state Senate’s Majority leader, as well as the local state senator for five of the seven municipalities in the Unionville area, he said this week through his spokesman, Erik Arenson, that it had always been his play to reimburse the Steelers for the trip. The Rooney family, which owns the Steelers, had long had close relationships with various political figures in both parties. Dan Rooney, the team’s chairman, was an early supporter of Barack Obama and currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.
“At some point over the next few weeks, Sen. Pileggi will receive a statement from the Steelers regarding the value of the trip,” Arneson said. “It was and remains his intention to reimburse the team for those costs.”—MM