Thursday, January 29, 2015

Council prez restricts access to city cars after DUI incident involving staffers

Council President Darrell Clarke says that after two Council staffers were arrested for drunk driving in city vehicles, he’s going to put new restrictions on Council’s pool cars.

Council prez restricts access to city cars after DUI incident involving staffers

Council President Darrell Clarke says that after two Council staffers were arrested for drunk driving in city vehicles, he’s going to put new restrictions on Council’s pool cars.

“I’m going to lock the keys up,” Clarke said at a press conference this afternoon.

Clarke has already fired the two Council staffers charged with illegal activity over the weekend. Council receptionist Robin Jones, 50, was charged with DUI after she drove a city-owned 2008 Chevy Cobalt into a building at about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. While at the scene, she called sergeant-at-arms Rodney Williams, 42, who showed up “visibly intoxicated” in a city-owned 1997 Ford Explorer, police said. Williams was hit with a DUI charge also.

The duo had no permission to take out the vehicles, part of the three-car pool for the members and staffers in the Democratic majority on Council, Clarke said. Council staffers who want to use the cars are supposed to submit a request in writing for approval. The receptionist charged with handing out the keys to an approved list of staffers and Council members was not in the office Friday and gave that responsibility to Williams, Clarke said.

Clarke said Williams and Jones abused their access to the keys. He said that in future, the keys would be locked up and another staffer would be in charge of reviewing who gets the cars. But Clarke also stressed that the previous policy was not the problem, but the staffers intent on misbehaving.

“At the end of the day if a policy in place and rules and regulations are in place and someone decided not to follow them it doesn’t matter what that policy is,” Clarke said.

Clarke also said having pool cars was important for staffers who need to get to night meetings and other events.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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