Gov. Rendell this afternoon nominated Barbara Deeley to serve as the first female sheriff of Philadelphia. Deeley has been chief of staff to Sheriff John Green, who told ward leaders in June that he planned to step down before his term ends in January 2012.
Green planned to retire on Oct. 29 but postponed that action on Oct. 27 after his office became involved in a dispute with City Controller Alan Butkovitz. Butkovitz a day earlier had announced plans for a full-scale forensic audit of 11 bank accounts under control of the Sheriff's Office with an estimated value of $53 million. Butkovitz complained that his staff had been trying to audit three of those accounts since early 2009 but had been stymied by the Sheriff's Office, a charge Green denied.
Gov. Rendell's office said Green submitted a letter that his resignation was effective Dec. 31.
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, chairman of the City Democratic Committee, has said Deeley has agreed to serve as "acting sheriff" until the state Senate approves her nomination and would not run for the office next year. At least three people are planning to run for sheriff.
Green, a city employee since 1969 and sheriff since 1988, is enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, which makes him eligible for a $397,488 lump-sum payment and then a pension of $8,464 per month.
UPDATE, 5:35 pm: The Sheriff's Office just put out a statement, dated Dec. 30, from Green that said he decided to resign after "careful thought" so that he can move forward on personal and professional committments he made to his wife and others.
The statement continued: Green said his final decision was based on a number of factors. The first was that he had personally assured compliance with all the records request from the City Controller’s Office. Second was his success in initiating the move to retain a highly regarded accounting firm to represent the interest of the Sheriff’s Office.
Green said “Their primary responsibility will be to insure a fair and accurate analysis of our records and that auditors from the controller’s office have a complete understanding of the complex operations of the Sheriff‘s Office.”