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RIP Steve Laskey
In 13 years of publication, Steve Laskey, a Mt. Braddock Industrial Park business owner, remains one of the most
memorable people whose paths crossed ours here at Rants&Raves.
It was easy to quickly respect Steve's willingness to expose his first-hand encounters with Fayette County corruption in
zoning and permit rigging and his frustration dealing with officials who couldn't or wouldn't help him.
His shared thousands of pages of documentation, accumulated as proof to back his claims, incorporated into stories
behind them, remain some of Rants&Raves consistently read pages to date on the series of expanded commentary pieces
that followed that specially called February commissioner's meeting.
Like most without restaurant kitchen equipment that needed repaired, we were introduced to Steve and his horrible
experience with serious man-made flooding, sewage issues and corruption, in February of 2014, when former county
commissioners held a meeting to approve the purchase of pricey land in Dunbar Township, very close to Steve's
business, for an industrial prison that the fools wanted to build on pyrite.
That decision to purchase land in too awfully much of a hurry, drew a large crowd, which included Steve.
Steve's presence at that special meeting was unexpected, but ultimately a delight. If only more citizens or out of county
residents who own businesses and employ Fay residents had the guts to speak out as Steve did that day, there might be
less corruption and stupidity on the part of our county officials being accepted and tolerated by the public that pays the bill
for it all.
Steve didn't let former commissioner Al Ambrosini blow him off. Ambrosini counted on the usual group of citizens opposing
the land purchase and jail construction in Dunbar Township, but he didn't count of Steve or the township supervisors
blending right in among those opposed.
Steve spoke honestly about his flooding and sewage mishap experiences in his building constructed on a pod of an
industrial park developed with public money. Steve pointed out man-made, nightmare results of what happened when
corruption pulls strings for favor, to do things, such as change the flow of creeks and streams without required official DEP
Nobody who bought land would sit quietly while his once dry land changed status to wetlands when nobody was looking.
It was stated in engineering reports and comparisons of old maps that Steve shared with Rants&Raves that a flow of a
significant stream was changed when no one was looking, without legal permit.
What wasn't said officially was that the change of the flow of the creek without permit was done out of political favor, to
spare a large business, often flooded downstream, owned by a favored campaign contributor to so many Fayette County
politicians/elected officials/former elected officials, for as long as anyone can remember.
Steve's business, nor a few others near his industrial park pod, experienced flooding during the first decade or so that he
was at that location with his company. Something changed. Steve, rightfully, was angry.
Once their flooding started, Steve and wife Natalie had to clean and sanitize the business that was required to stay a
spiffy clean workplace in which restaurant kitchen equipment was shipped for repair. Flooding a few times or more each
year, losing inventory, including machines there for repair from other food preparation or restaurant kitchens, all became a
regular nightmare for them.
None of that was right.
Rants&Raves will not ever forget Steve and Natalie and the guts it took for them both to speak the truth aloud. Nor will
Rants&Raves ever understand, accept or forget that a few who wrote for area newspapers -- who always manage to refer
to themselves as award winning journalists -- consciously decided not to interview Steve at the time out of political favor.
Raves that people like Steve exist, who come forward to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do. Readers
always ask about Steve. He was still pursuing his case in court to retrieve some of his loss. Nothing was resolved, as far
as we know, at this time.
Rants&Raves sends our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers to Natalie, Steve's parents and children, as well as to
his friends, for their loss with his passing. Steve was a good man.
RIP Steve! Thanks for everything!
16 Nov 18