Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tartaglione: "Call us corrupt And I'll Punch You Out."

Philadelphia City Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione had two very clear messages to deliver during her weekly meeting this morning. First, she considers the controversy about her daughter, former top Deputy Commissioner Renee Tartaglione Matos, retiring for violating the City Charter to be over. And the 77-year-old, nine-term commissioner is willing to punch you out if you question whether that retirement means her office is corrupt."

Tartaglione: "Call us corrupt And I'll Punch You Out."

Philadelphia City Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione had two very clear messages to deliver during her weekly meeting this morning.  First, she considers the controversy about her daughter, former top Deputy Commissioner Renee Tartaglione Matos, retiring for violating the City Charter to be over.  And the 77-year-old, nine-term commissioner is willing to punch you out if you question whether that retirement means her office is corrupt."

"I love my daughter. It's over. It's settled. No more questions," Tartaglione said, cutting off a question from a Philadelphia Weekly reporter Aaron Kase, 28, who asked how the public could have faith that the City Commission runs fair elections. Tartaglione then called PW a "liberal paper" and said there would be trouble if anyone called her office corrupt.

"Now if you say that, I can jump over this table and punch you out," Tartaglione told Kase. "This is not corrupt."

Kase responded, "I'm right here," adding that he was looking for assurances that the office was run in a fair manner.  But the "I'm right here" part of that drew the ire of Tartaglione's staff.  Commission staffer Tim Dowling, his voice rising, said Kase was impugning the integrity of the Civil Service employees who work on elections.  "Did you have to take a test to get your job?" Dowling asked Kase, who answered no.

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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