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."