The man credited with revolutionizing the way Pennsylvania sells alcohol is quitting his job.
Jonathan Newman, who took the state-run monopoly and brought it into the modern era with a series of customer-friendly moves, is expected to submit his resignation this morning at a meeting of the Liquor Control Board.
Newman’s exit comes just a few weeks after he publicly disagreed with Gov. Ed Rendell’s decision to name a new chief executive officer at the LCB. Former Sen. Joe Conti [NOT pictured, left] was tapped for the $150,000 a year job. Newman makes a little more than $67,000 a year.
Newman rapped the move, saying the position was basically being created for Conti, and that it was being done without a nationwide search.
Newman also complained loudly that the political appointment, which was OK’d by two members of the LCB Board, failed what he believed was the tests of “transparency and good government.”
Newman has served on the Liquor Control Board seven years, and has filled the chairman’s seat for the past three and a half years.
He is widely credited with bringing the state store system out of the dark ages via a series of customer friendly moves, such as Sunday hours, expanded wine sales, discount outlets, specialty wine stores, and putting state stores in some supermarkets.