Former City Representative Melanie Johnson spent nearly $7,000 of city money for personal items including travel, hotel stays at the Four Seasons, an iPad and various meals, the Philadelphia Board of Ethics found in imposing a $2,000 fine. The board's findings arose from Inquirer and Daily News reporting last year.
In 2013, then Mayor Michael Nutter rebranded Philadelphia's community services office and charged it with nothing less than the slashing of poverty in the poorest big city in the U.S. Five years and two mayors later, the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) has spent $65 million with few measurable accomplishments to show for it.
Mayor Kenney announced that his chief of staff Jane Slusser is resigning to work on a voter engagement project ahead of November's elections. Jim Engler, deputy mayor for policy and legislation, will take over as chief of staff.
In his first two years in office, Mayor Kenney signed new contracts with all four of the city's major labor unions. Those contracts contain changes to the city's pension plan. We take a look at how the city plans to get the beleaguered fund from 45 percent funded to 80 percent in 12 years.
In an effort to reduce its massive backlog of disability determination appeals, the Social Security Administration plans to reinstate an additional step in the disability appeals process for 10 states, including Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is going to various newsrooms in the city to discuss safety measures in the wake of the fatal shooting attack at the Capital and Maryland Gazette newsroom in Annapolis. There will also be increased police presence near the various media outlets in town.
As of June of last year, Philadelphia had not reconciled seven accounts where millions in taxpayers dollars are transferred each year for several years, resulting in the now infamous missing $33 million, plus $924 million in accounting errors. The city also does not have enough auditors and lacks adequate technology to keep track of monies. And the Department of Revenue has lax rules on allowing employees to change individual tax accounts for up to $1 million.
Claudia Vargas is a reporter covering City Hall.