The two lanes of Ohio River Boulevard are accumulating snow as fast as they’re accumulating traffic, but Fitzgerald is confident he will make it to the airport press conference in time. On the drive, he says he is pleased with the county’s progress and can’t think of any failures from his first term.
When asked about the health-care problems at the Allegheny County Jail, he slightly changes his tune. In 2013, the county, looking to cut costs, hired for-profit health-care provider Corizon for the jail. By May 2015, 11 deaths had occurred under Corizon’s watch, twice the national average at jails. Fitzgerald then announced the county would not be renewing Corizon’s contract.
“[Corizon] is probably something I wouldn’t have done [again]. Looking back on it, it just didn’t work. And once we figured that out, we decided to make a change.”
At long last, Fitzgerald arrives at the airport. A crowd has formed in front of Frontier’s new desk. Just before the car comes to a complete stop, Fitzgerald pops open the door and hurries inside. He’d rather not wait — he has a county to sell.