Friday, September 19, 2014
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Cruz Says Tartagliones Target Him As Subpoenas Arrive

State Rep. Angel Cruz, responding to news that Deputy City Commissioner Renee Tartaglione Matos retired last month after the Philadelphia Board of Ethics accused her of City Charter violations, claimed today that she and her mother, City Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione, have targeted him for eight years because they consider him and other Hispanic officials to be a political threat to her sister, state Sen. Christine Tartaglione. Cruz also revealed that the state Attorney General's Office issued subpoenas today to six City Democratic Committee members loyal to him after spending two months asking questions about how his nominating petitions were circulated in advance of the May primary election.

Cruz Says Tartagliones Target Him As Subpoenas Arrive

Renee Tartaglione Matos
Renee Tartaglione Matos

State Rep. Angel Cruz, responding to news that Deputy City Commissioner Renee Tartaglione Matos retired last month after the Philadelphia Board of Ethics accused her of City Charter violations, today claimed that she and her mother, City Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione, have targeted him for eight years because they consider him and other Hispanic officials to be a political threat to her sister, state Sen. Christine Tartaglione.  Cruz also revealed that the state Attorney General's Office issued subpoenas today to six City Democratic Committee members loyal to him after spending two months asking questions about how his nominating petitions were circulated in advance of the May primary election.

Cruz provided reporters with a Nov. 12 letter he received from the Board of Ethics, confirming that he filed the complaint that led to Tartaglione Matos being investigated.  Cruz said he used his cell phone camera to take her picture at a Democratic Committee meeting as state Rep. Frank Oliver, the treasurer, handed her checks to be used to pay election day workers.  That, Cruz said, prompted a string of curses from Tartaglione Matos.  Cruz said he turned the pictures over to the Board of Ethics.

Tartaglione Matos, who was prohibited by the City Charter from engaging in political activity, last month admitted to collecting money and printing up campaign materials to challenger Cruz and his supporters from 2007 to 2009.  You can read the settlement agreement she reached with the Board of Ethics here.  Tartaglione Matos, who turned 55 on Oct. 31, retired on Nov. 16, four days after being contacted by the Board of Ethics, and now receives a pension of $4,237 per month.

"They're using that office for the wrong purposes," Cruz said of the Tartaglione family, which includes her husband, 19th Ward Leader Carlos Matos.  Cruz said he has twice written to the Attorney General's Office asking for an investigation but has not heard back.  He said he has not been subpoenaed by the investigators who today subpoenaed his committee members.

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Settlement agreement (.pdf)

According to the settlement agreement with the Board of Ethics, Renee Tartaglione can't seek or hold city office for one year and must pay a $2,700 fine, which Cruz dismissed as a "slap on the hand."

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@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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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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