Controller: Sheriff at risk for fraud

The Philadelphia Sheriff's Office refusal to release financial information on its bank accounts has set off alarms among auditors in the City Controller's Office, Controller Alan Butkovitz said Tuesday as he called for a full-scale probe of more than $53 million controlled by the Sheriff.

Chief deputy Sheriff Barbara Deeley, who will take over as acting Sheriff when John D. Green retires on Sunday after 24 years, said her office has and will cooperate with the Controller's Office and suggested Butkovitz was launching his campaign for Mayor in 2015 at the outgoing Sheriff's expense.

Butkovitz released an audit Tuesday whose main conclusion was one of concern about the lack of information Green supplied to auditors over the past 18 months. The Controller sought information on three of 11 accounts holding nearly $53 million, and now Butkovitz said he will demand documentation for all 11.

"The Sheriff's ongoing refusal to cooperate and provide the financial materials we requested -- materials and information that are routinely provided by all other city agencies we audit -- raises concerns over the potential risk for fraud and other impropriety," Butkovitz said in an 11 a.m. news conference. "These are real indicators that alarm auditors."

Deeley provided emails suggesting that her office had offered to supply documents on the bank accounts as early at September 2009.
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