Sunday, July 5, 2015

DROP participants will retire and return

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire on Friday, collect a six-figure pension payment and then return to work after she is sworn-in on Monday to serve her seventh term.

DROP participants will retire and return

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City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire on Friday, collect a $478,057 pension payment and then return to work after she is sworn-in on Monday to serve her seventh term.
City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire on Friday, collect a $478,057 pension payment and then return to work after she is sworn-in on Monday to serve her seventh term.

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire on Friday, collect a six-figure pension payment and then return to work after she is sworn-in on Monday to serve her seventh term.

Francis Bielli, executive director for the city’s Board of Pensions and Retirement, said he was recently notified that Tasco, who is enrolled in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, will retire on Friday and collect $478,057.

Tasco did not respond to requests for comment.

Tasco was reelected despite her participation in DROP, which drew public ire after elected officials entered the program, ran for re-election and retired for a day to get hefty pension payments, only to return to office.

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Retiring Councilman Frank DiCicco, who is also in the program, considered running for re-election, but after controversy erupted over DROP, he decided not to. Retiring Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who is also enrolled in DROP made a similar decision. Councilman Frank Rizzo lost reelection due in-part to his participation in DROP. Retiring members Jack Kelly and Council president Anna Verna are also DROP participants.

Some City Hall insiders said DROP was Tasco’s biggest roadblock in her unsuccessful bid for Council president –the second most politically powerful job in the city. Several incoming members said they would not support a DROP participant for president. Councilman Darrell Clarke will be Council’s next president replacing Verna.

Mayor Nutter has tried in vain to eliminate the DROP program. In September, Council voted to override Nutter’s veto of a bill, sponsored by Tasco that would preserve the DROP program, while reducing its cost.

Nutter has vowed to work “tirelessly” to abolish the program.

Another elected official set to return after collecting his DROP payment is Register of Wills Ronald Donatucci, who retired Dec. 23 and will also return on Monday, Bielli said. He collected $366,797.

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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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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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