Featherman: PPA leader must be booted

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Vince Fenerty Jr., the Philadelphia Parking Authority's executive director, had to repay the authority $30,000, to foot the bill of an independent investigation into his allegedly sexual harassment of an employee.

Vince Fenerty Jr. must go.

He can resign, but he should be fired.

Fenerty, the executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, sexually harassed a female senior director of the PPA, according to an independent investigation that was presented to him by the PPA’s board last year.

Inquirer columnist Mike Newall broke the story yesterday.

Under the terms of Fenerty’s continued employment, his power to make autonomous personnel decisions has been significantly limited to reduce the likelihood of him harassing anyone else. In other words, he’s going to be watched like a hawk.

How effective can such a leader be? He can’t.

How effective can the organization be with such a leader at its helm? It can’t.

How embarrassing does it become when PPA board member/City Councilman Al Taubenberger compares the sexual harassment incident to a “high school puppy love situation?”

Extremely.

So much so that Taubenberger, one of the junior Councilmember’s first elected in 2015, should reconsider whether he wishes to remain on the PPA board, as well as on City Council.

Roman Sosalski, a Philly-based Republican activist, told U-Turn this afternoon that "Councilman Taubenberger is doubling down on the reprehensible actions of PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty Jr. 

“Sexual harassment is not ‘high school puppy love.’  It is completely unacceptable,” Sosalski said. “I am mortified to be a member of the Republican Party in Philadelphia if this is what the leadership stands for. Fenerty needs to resign from the PPA and his Ward Posts. Councilman Taubenberger should think about doing the same"

 

In a statement released Thursday night, Taubenberger recanted the comments he made earlier in the day, saying "I now realize, in retrospect, that my prior use of the term 'high school stuff' in describing Fenerty's admitted sexual harassment was wrong and regrettable."

"In no way did I mean to infer that any instance of sexual harassment isn't serious and reprehensible," he added. "There is no situation in which sexual harassment in the work place is acceptable."

Sosalski is right. 

And the clock is ticking.

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John Featherman is a real estate broker and Republican with libertarian leanings who writes about politics.

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