Nutter in verbal sidewalk smackdown

Was that just another sidewalk altercation this afternoon on South Broad Street -- or was it Mayor Nutter throwing verbal bombs at an alleged tax deadbeat?

Attorney Robert Gamburg, one of three lawyers at 121 South Broad Street who owe the city a total of $350,000 in business privilege taxes, didn't like the fact that Nutter chose to shame him with a press conference outside his building.

Nutter called the press conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday to show what would happen to tax deadbeats, and Sheriff's deputies proceeded to very publicly deliver notices that the loffices of Gamburg, his father Jerome Gamburg, and Joseph Santaguida. Nutter said their belongings would be confiscated and auctioned off if they failed to pay their bills.


Gamburg confronted Nutter after the press conference, as Nutter chatted with reporters, asking whether Nutter was aware that he was in the process of arranging to pay his taxes.

"I'd also like to know if we are the only three people in the entire city that owe back taxes," Gamburg said, and asked why Nutter chose his building to hold the press conference.

"I'm not going to argue with you on the sidewalk -- you owe the city money, pay your taxes," Nutter said.

When Gamburg questioned why Nutter was getting "upset," Nutter raised the bar.

"Oh, you've never seen me upset," Nutter said, almost in warning. "So I'm not upset. Just pay your taxes and everything will be fine."

Nutter declared the conversation over, the men shook hands, and Nutter went back to City Hall and Gamburg back into his building.

Click here for's politics page.