Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Political Watchdog: End DROP Program Loophole For Elected Officials

The Committee of 70 wants Mayor Nutter's City Solicitor to reverse the opinion of the last person to hold that job, who said it was legal for City Council members enrolled in the controversial DROP program to run for re-election, retire for one day, collect a six-figure pension payout and then go back to work. You can read the letter here.

Political Watchdog: End DROP Program Loophole For Elected Officials

The Committee of 70 wants Mayor Nutter's City Solicitor to reverse the opinion of the last person to hold that job, who said it was legal for City Council members enrolled in the controversial DROP program to run for re-election, retire for one day, collect a six-figure pension payout and then go back to work the next day.  You can read the letter here.

Zack Stalbeg, the Committee of 70's president and CEO, wrote to Smith that her "prompt attention is critical."  Nutter's new budget calls for a ban on future elected officials from participating in the DROP program but does not address current elected officials already enrolled.  Six Council members are now enrolled -- Anna Verna, Marian Tasco, Frank DiCicco, Donna Reed Miller, Frank Rizzo and Jack Kelly.  A story in today's Daily News about the program prompted a tirade this morning by Tasco.

Nutter seemed cool to Stalberg's proposal when PhillyClout caught up to him this afternoon.  "That’s a legal opinion," he said of the 2006 opinion crafted by then-City Solicitor Romulo Diaz. "That’s an analysis of the law. It’s not like somebody’s opinion just walking down the street."

But Nutter said he was sure his Solicitor, Shelley Smith, would review the matter.  "We’ll see what the result is," Nutter added. "But I don’t tell the solicitor what opinion to have."

About this blog
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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