Egg Sandwich Costs Pennsylvania Taxpayers $75,000. State Can’t Talk About It

" the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor""Futurama"/FoxPennsylvania’s annual state budget is about $28 billion (PDF), so a settlement totaling $75,000 may not seem like a big deal, at least to those in charge of the state. But it should be a big deal to taxpayers. And no matter how trifling the amounts may appear to those who fatten themselves at the government trough, it's precisely that liberal approach to other people's money that most corrupts government.

So it was with Pennsylvania's former health secretary, Eli Avila, who became the target of a lawsuit claiming retaliation over an egg sandwich. Avila is long gone in Pennsylvania—he's now a health inspector in New York—but the state only reached a settlement over the lawsuit this week.

Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

[Restaurant owner Richard] Hanna claimed that Avila pitched a fit and shouted, "Do you know who I am?" Later, he contended, the health secretary sicced city inspectors on his diner, Roxy's Cafe, and tried to block his bid for the Capitol cafeteria contract.

Avila denied the allegations. In court filings, he said Hanna had tried to serve him a "precooked" egg, which he said he told Hanna was unsafe and unlawful.

Their dustup occurred just weeks after Corbett had lured Avila, a physician and lawyer, from New York to join his administration and oversee a department with 1,700 employees and a $1 billion budget. Avila lasted a little more than a year, leaving in October 2012.

The dispute with Hanna outlasted his cabinet job.

It gets better. The settlement comes with a non-disclosure agreement, so state officials can insist they're barred from commenting on this waste of taxpayer money. And, the Inquirer notes:

The egg-sandwich incident was one of several that stirred scrutiny during Avila's tenure in Harrisburg. He also drew headlines for ordering special "Department of Health" windbreakers and badges for himself and his staff, and for a confrontation over a bloodmobile's blocking his parking space behind the Capitol.

Corbett, in a statement upon Avila's resignation, called the secretary "an asset" and praised his work as an advocate for children's health.

Wasting your money. For the children.

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    That better have been one heck of a sandwich!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You can't disclose to the people who have to pay, why they have to pay? That's a helluva gig if you can get it.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    PA politics are utterly corrupt but maybe second to none in the desperation to keep up appearances.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Considering we border New York and New Jersey, I think we're pretty amateur on the corruption front.

  • albo||

    Yeah. In fact, our two imprisoned House Speakers both just got out of jail! And those 4 cash-taking legislators won't even be charged!
    We're cleaner than Illinois now.

  • albo||

    Yeah. In fact, our two imprisoned House Speakers both just got out of jail! And those 4 cash-taking legislators won't even be charged!
    We're cleaner than Illinois now.

  • albo||

    Yeah. In fact, our two imprisoned House Speakers both just got out of jail! And those 4 cash-taking legislators won't even be charged!
    We're cleaner than Illinois now.

  • albo||

    Yeah. In fact, our two imprisoned House Speakers both just got out of jail! And those 4 cash-taking legislators won't even be charged!
    We're cleaner than Illinois now.

  • Peter Falk||

    I am disappoint. From the head, I thought this was going to be a story about how Avila approved an invoice charging the state $75k for a sandwich.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    So they won't give the people an egg-splanation of this settlement? The taxpayers are supposed to just shell out some money for purposes they aren't told about? I guess the yoke is on the people of the state. Boy, do they have egg on their face!

  • lap83||

    I guess now you want us to shell out compliments for your poultry attempts at humor.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Don't be so hard boiled, you'll just egg him on.

  • db||

    In every bad joke there is an embryo of true humor.

  • pmains||

    And somehow you missed the obvious yolk.

  • db||

    Maybe if you sit on it a while, you'll see it.

  • dinkster||

    This goose is cooked.

  • Curtisls87||

    No one in this thread will win a pullet surprise.

  • R C Dean||

    Hanna had tried to serve him a "precooked" egg,

    I would think serving an uncooked egg would be worse.

    What's the difference between "cooked" and "pre-cooked", anyway?

  • tarran||

    A slightly runny yolk, I would think

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe pre-cooked egg is some frozen thing that was cooked in a factory? Like the eggs McDonalds puts on their egg sandwiches.

  • Almanian!||

    Sausage McMuffin with Egg®...mmmmmmmmm.

  • ||

    Sausage McMuffin, no egg. Hashbrowns. Orange juice. I crave it fortnightly, smartarse.

  • RannedPall||

    Check out this gem. Once again, prog tolerance is only prescribed for those who take the blue pill suppository.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014.....tic-ayaan/

  • Almanian!||

    Must...not....click....link.....!!

  • Michael A.||

    Not tolerating intolerance is not the same thing as intolerance.

  • Onlooker||

    Typical petty little govt official. Building his little fiefdom and abusing people with his power. Unfortunately it's not at all surprising.

  • jorgeborges||

    This is a nonsensical summary of a badly written article.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I thought we went over this last night. Most people come here for the comments and the alt-text, not the actual articles.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This alt-text was totally worth it.

  • Anomalous||

    Corbett, in a statement upon Avila's resignation, called the secretary "an asset" and praised his work as an advocate for children's health.

    Are we sure he said "asset"?

  • GILMORE||

    What you fail to understand is this was Shepherd Wong's *secret egg salad* recipe, and worth every penny

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f20pv9QBc0

  • Michael A.||

    They were the defendants in a lawsuit. They settled in order to reduce the amount spent on the lawsuit, which was about government intimidation and abuse of power. To say they spent $75,000 on an egg sandwich is either insulting the intelligence of your readers, or exploiting their stupidity.

  • Curtisls87||

    If only we could have had the right top man...

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