Nutter announces 2014 Dilworth Award winner

Chief Deputy City Solicitor Barbara Ash  won Thursday the third annual Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Ash has risen through the Law Department’s ranks since starting out in 1991 as an assistant city solicitor to now chairing the law department’s Social Services Group, where she is in charge of representing the city’s Child Welfare Unit in the Department of Human Services.

The award, which recognizes a city employee with at least three years of continuous service and who strives for excellence in public service, is sponsored by Dilworth Paxson LLP and Independence Blue Cross. Ash was selected from a pool of 154 nominees from various city departments.

Ash, who Mayor Nutter said was shocked when she heard she had won the award, thanked her colleagues and family, especially her husband “who put up with my long hours,” she said.

“A job is a gift from God and you have to do it to the best of your ability,” Ash said. “I love what I do.”

City solicitor Shelley R. Smith teared up when she spoke Thursday of Ash’s work with the city’s most vulnerable population— the children who depend on the Department of Human Services for protection.

Previous winners include the city’s director of operations in the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities John Elfrey and Department of Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton William.

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