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Amid Privatization Efforts, Head Of Pa. Liquor Sales Defends Agency’s Performance

Joseph “Skip” Brion (File photo by KYW's Tony Romeo)

Joseph “Skip” Brion (File photo by KYW’s Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — As debate over Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania heats up, the chairman of the state liquor control board is shooting back at perceived criticism of his agency — while urging lawmakers to continue with modernization efforts.

During state House budget hearings yesterday, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board chairman Joseph “Skip” Brion -– appointed to the LCB by Corbett –- indicated that while he personally favors the proposal, he doesn’t like his agency being “vilified” in the debate over privatizing liquor sales.

“It is a shame that the employees at the LCB and the employees behind me at the stores feel that the way the debate occurs in the legislature, and the way the debate may be occurring in this building, is to get rid of a problem. And all I can tell you is that (as) the chairman for 15 months, the LCB is not a problem,” Brion said.

As the debate over privatization continues, Brion lobbied lawmakers for quick action on modernization initiatives, including expanded Sunday state store hours and direct shipments of wine to consumers.

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