City Worker Sentenced For Accepting Bribes

Here's the press release:

Former City Records Department Clerk Sentenced in Bribery Scheme

Philadelphia, January 26, 2011 – Philadelphia Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Venizelos said that a former Philadelphia Records Department clerk was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 24 months in federal prison and 36 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to defrauding the City of more than $600,000.

Kelly Kaufmann Layre, a Clerk Typist II in the Police Reports Unit, admitted that she engaged in a corrupt scheme to sell police-incident, traffic-accident and emergency medical-services reports that defrauded the City. The investigation into Layre was initiated by the Philadelphia Inspector General.

“When I became Mayor, I promised Philadelphians that our administration would root out corruption wherever it might be. And that’s why we invested in the most professional and competent Inspector General’s Office in the City’s history,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Taxpayers can be assured that we will protect their interests, while those engaged in wrongdoing can be assured that we will uncover your schemes in partnership with local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors.”

Layre provided thousands of incident, accident and EMS reports to co-conspirators Tina Meyrick, Paul Kling and Brian Daly at a significantly reduced rate in exchange for cash payments. Layre abused her position as a public employee, pocketing nearly $186,000 during the four-year scheme. All four individuals pleaded guilty to the charges.

In addition to confinement, Layre was ordered to pay $600,415 in restitution to the City. On Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, Meyrick was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to make restitution to the city in the amount of $457,000. Kling and Daly await sentencing.

“More than $600,000 was stolen from the City at the height of a budget crisis, and many programs are still suffering from the cuts that have been made,” said Kurland, a former Federal prosecutor. “It is crucial that we recover these funds and spend them on projects that benefit all Philadelphians.”

Kurland noted that the lost funds are the equivalent of:

The operations of 15 swimming pools for the entire summer season,

Six months of operations for the LEAP program (after-school programs in the 45 neighborhood libraries), which serves 75,000 children annually, or

The salaries for about 11 police officers for one year.

Kurland said that she hopes these prison sentences will send a message that City employees must uphold the public trust at all times in their official duties and that those who steal from the City will be dealt with appropriately.

The charges were the result of an investigation initiated by the Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General and conducted jointly with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Records Department Commissioner Joan Decker cooperated with the investigation. The OIG and Commissioner Decker are developing safeguards to prevent similar schemes in the future.

The indictments were filed in federal court because the Department of Records receives federal funding. For further information, call the Inspector General’s Office at 215-686-1770.