A day after former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell was accused of stealing and misusing public funds through a city-run nonprofit, her name had already been scrubbed from organizations where she has been involved.
Chrissy Houlahan, a Chester County Democrat running for Congress, has joined some of the other women running for congress in the Philadelphia suburbs who have launched television campaign ads. Houlahan's first commercial aired Wednesday morning.
Philadelphia finished the most recent fiscal year with nearly $1 billion cash balance, the highest balance in at least a decade, according to a City Controller report. Most of the cash balance is from the city's main operating budget and raises the question as to whether the city should put away some of it's extra cash in a rainy day fund that thus far remains empty.
The U.S. Department of Justice is questioning Philadelphia's use of nearly $15 million during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and what it considers overall bad bookkeeping of federal grant money. In an audit, the department's Inspector General's Office cited millions of dollars in what it called "unallowable and unsupported" expenses, including overtime to firefighters for security, meals, and lodging for law enforcement agencies, and payments to vendors for items ranging from a secure bus system to credentialing for the three-day event.
In January, thousands of city employees could find themselves working fewer hours for the same salary and others will be working the same hours for more money, thanks to new, $44 million computer system.
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.
Claudia Vargas is a reporter covering City Hall.