Wednesday, November 25, 2015

City continues freebies probe

Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland says she is looking at lists from five contractors identifying meals or gifts supplied to city employees.

City continues freebies probe


Five different city contractors - Verizon, Comcast, Shared Technologies, Motorola and RCC Consultants - provided reports to the city's inspector general on their wining and dining of city employees, part of the probe that led to the firing last week of Joseph James Sr., a top official in the city's Division of Technology.

James had accepted 39 business-related meals from the five companies over a four-year period, violating executive orders issued by mayors John Street and Michael Nutter, according to inspector general Amy Kurland.

A former city employee, deputy public property commissioner Francis G. Punzo, now with Verizon, was accused of accepting 122 meals from the same group of vendors, and a third city worker, Concetta D. Lilli-Pearson, was suspended for 20 days for accepting two meals and a couple of iPods.

But what about other city employees? Did any others accept meals or other gifts from the five contractors?

"They might have, and that is why our investigation is continuing," Kurland says, declining to provide any additional details.
The contractors themselves are even more circumspect.

Verizon declined to identify any other recipients of its largesse, while spokesmen for Comcast, Shared Technologies and Motorola said only that they'd cooperated fully with the city's investigation - a requirement of their city contracts, according to Kurland.

A spokesman for RCC Consultants said that if the firm had taken any city employees out to lunch, it would have billed the city for reimbursement, as it did for "a few working lunches with Mr. James."

Click here for's politics page.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

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

Inquirer City Hall Staff
Also on
letter icon Newsletter