Will the Real Pete Sabia please stand up?

That was the request of Friends of Lackawanna attorney Jordan Yeager at Thursday’s second zoning hearing on the proposed expansion of Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore and Throop. It was not honored. Neither was the notion of transparency as a cornerstone of good government.

All Mr. Yeager wanted to know was whether Dunmore Zoning Hearing Board member Pete Sabia Jr. has any family or business ties to landfill owner Louis DeNaples. It’s a fair, straightforward question Mr. Sabia should feel obligated to answer to bolster public trust in the board’s impartiality.

Instead, his silence convinced anyone who still harbored doubts that this process was rigged from the jump.

I was late to the meeting and missed the exchange staff writer Kyle Wind reports today:

Attorney Jordan Yeager presented records showing a man named Peter Sabia is an officer in at least six companies in which Mr. DeNaples is also an officer. In most cases, Mr. Sabia’s address is listed as 400 Mill St., the listed address of DeNaples Auto Parts. The businesses are S&H Drilling, Inc., 215 Corporation, Route 315 Realty, Wallenpaupack Lands, Lakeside Time Shares and C.P.R. & O.

“Do you have any way to identify whether the Peter Sabia appearing on these documents is the Peter Sabia who is a member of this board?” asked zoning solicitor Carl Greco.

Mr. Yeager responded he did not, and that was why he sought clarification about the listing as well as whether any of the companies are either affiliated with or do business with Keystone.

“I recognize that there are two Peter Sabias, that there is a Peter Sabia Sr. and a Peter Sabia Jr.,” Mr. Yeager said, referring to the board member’s father.

Mr. Sabia could have ended the speculation by simply telling the truth. If he indeed has ties to Mr. DeNaples (Duh!) but doesn’t believe they constitute a conflict of interest, he should have the stones to say so. If he is unwilling to stand up and answer such a basic, obvious and open question, he should step down. So should every board member who sanctions this charade.