Sunday, March 1, 2015

Republican group complains to Ethics Board about Nutter's convention travel

A Republican group has filed a complaint with the city Board of Ethics over Mayor Nutter's use of taxpayer dollars to take five city workers to the Democratic National Convention.

Republican group complains to Ethics Board about Nutter's convention travel

Note: This post has been updated with additional information.

A Republican group has filed a complaint with the city Board of Ethics over Mayor Nutter’s use of taxpayer dollars to take city workers to the Democratic National Convention.

Taxpayers paid $7,363.60 in travel costs to send five staffers -- two aides and three security officers -- with Nutter to the political event in Charlotte, NC, according to mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald. Nutter’s travel and expenses were paid for through his campaign and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which he is president.

Matt Wolfe, a ward leader and part of an insurgent group of city Republicans, filed the complaint, which requests an investigation into the use of city money to send the two aides -- Lauren Walker and Tumar Alexander -- to the DNC. Wolfe said the group is not complaining about the security detail.

"The city employees who attended the convention are not supposed to be active in politics," Wolfe said. 

McDonald called the complaint "unwarranted," saying the staffers were not doing political work.

"The bottom line is that while the mayor was down in Charlotte for a political event, he also conducted mayoral business and it was appropriate those staffers be with him," McDonald said. "They weren't wearing campaign hats or campaign buttons or engaging in political activity."

Shane Creamer, executive director of the Board of Ethics, declined comment.

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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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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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