Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nutter's legislative office grows

Six weeks ago, shortly after Camille Barnett took over as city managing director, Tumar Alexander, chief of staff in that office during the Street administration, resigned his job.

But as of next week, Alexander's bac

Nutter's legislative office grows

Six weeks ago, shortly after Camille Barnett took over as city managing director, Tumar Alexander, chief of staff in that office during the Street administration, resigned his job.

But as of next week, Alexander's back in City Hall - working directly for Mayor Nutter.

He is joining what is so far a four-person team in the newly expanded Office of Government and Legislative Affairs. The office is in somewhat a state of flux as it is still evolving, but Alexander's charges will include working with City Council, as well helping lawmakers in Harrisburg "connect to services in the city," as he puts it.

So fast was his departure and return that his name never disappeared from the city's online municipal phone directory.

This is the same Alexander who found himself in hot water in 2003. Working then as an assistant city managing director, he was accompanying Sharif Street, the mayor's son, in a hunt for office space to rent for Mayor Street's campaign.

That's when he allegedly exchanged words with the landlord of a North Philadelphia campaign office then being rented by Sam Katz. A Republican, Katz was trying (but failed) to unseat Mayor Street.

It was hours later that a suspected unlit firebomb was tossed through the Katz office window. No one was ever charged.

Alexander faced a misdemeanor charge of making a terroristic threat, but entered a six-month program for first-time offenders. He was suspended without pay for a week for violating a City Charter provision that bans government officials from political activity.

In the years since, Alexander has been praised for his skills and abilities.

But the 2003 incident did earn him a cameo in "The Shame of A City" - the documentary about the 2003 mayoral race that Nutter used last year to help fatten his mayoral campaign warchest.

About this blog

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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