Nutter lashes out at 'unscrupulous' Mayor's Fund exec over reports questioning spending

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said he was "stunningly disappointed, disgusted and offended" by Ashley Del Bianco, the executive director of the Mayor’s Fund, whom he asserted withheld information from him in an "ambush."

Former Mayor Michael Nutter on Monday lashed out at the executive director of the Mayor’s Fund for allegedly withholding from him her concerns about spending at the fund, calling her "unscrupulous and deceptive."

Nutter’s comments came in response to report by the Inquirer and Daily News that Desiree Peterkin-Bell, city representative under Nutter and former chairwoman of the Mayor’s Fund, spent $52,000 of fund’s money without providing expense documentation.

“After reading the most recent news story about the Mayor's Fund, I must say that I am stunningly disappointed, disgusted and offended that Ashley Del Bianco would withhold what she thought was important information or concerns about the operations of the Mayor's Fund from the person who appointed her to the executive director position, which was me,” Nutter said in a statement posted online.

Del Bianco declined to comment immediately.

He alleged  Del Bianco withheld her concerns until later “apparently to ambush me, Desiree Peterkin-Bell and other members of my Administration after those of us involved in these issues left office and have no access to any information or documentation.”

“One has to wonder about her motives,” Nutter, who left office in January 2016, said before suggesting she was seeking "to actually cover up her own failed managerial efforts.”

He said  there was “no way that Desiree Peterkin-Bell could have spent all of this money by herself…”

“ … almost all the expenditures were actually made by administrative staff members or others under who had access to and authorization to make purchases or expenditures” who worked under Peterkin-Bell, Nutter said.

“These press reports want to create a narrative that somehow imply that because the credit cards are assigned to a particular department or office, that the leader of that department or office is actually personally making the purchases,” he said.

Nutter said Del Bianco “has now publicly demonstrated herself to be an unscrupulous and deceptive individual.”

“I am deeply offended that she would so shamelessly backstab so many former colleagues, and especially her former chair, Desiree Peterkin-Bell, who recommended her promotion to the executive director position,” he said.