Butkovitz: Former head of Free Library improperly accepted $230,000 in bonus payments

Last week, it was BigBelly trash containers that City Controller Alan Butkovitz went after. This week, it's Elliot Shelkrot, former head of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

In a new departmental audit, Butkovitz reveals that Shelkot received two "bonus" payments during a two year period totaling $65,000. Further work by City Solicitor Shelley Smith revealed that Shelkrot in fact received $171,535 more in bonuses since 2001 - in addition to his annual salary of about $120,000. According to Smith, all the bonus payments were improper under the City Charter.

The bonuses were paid by the Board of Trustees of the Free Library of Philadelphia, which is an independent entity created under the City Charter and appoints the library president. "Consequently, the Board believed and Mr. Shelkrot understood that it was authorized to set the President's compensation and to use its own funds towards that level of compensation," current library President Siobhan A. Reardon wrote in response to the controller's report.

Butkovitz this morning said he believes Shelkrot should give back the bonus money.

To read the controller's audit, go here.

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