One woman working for a city housing program allegedly gave her daughter a home for $1.

Another woman allegedly used government funding to pay for elective surgery, jewelry, and a vacation cruise.

Both face federal theft charges that originated from investigations by the Philadelphia inspector general.

"We cannot afford the cost of corruption in Philadelphia any longer," Mayor Nutter said at a City Hall news conference to announce the prosecutions.

"We're all victimized by the few bad apples," said Amy Kurland, the city's inspector general and a former federal prosecutor.

Brenda Wilkins, 62, of Philadelphia, was a real estate specialist with the Philadelphia Housing and Development Corp. when she allegedly let her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend live illegally in the PHDC house in Frankford and then sold the property through the boyfriend to her daughter.

The daughter and boyfriend, identified only as R.W. and T.B. in Wilkins' indictment, moved into the house at 5437 Marsden St. in 2000 and bought it in 2005, according to the indictment.

Shortly after the transaction, Wilkins retired, the indictment says.

In the second case, Dorena Kearney, 52, of Lindenwold, was executive director of the COLOURS Organization, a city-funded nonprofit that provides health services and education for sexual and racial minorities.

Kearney is charged with misappropriating $138,000 to pay for elective surgery, a vacation cruise, clothing, shoes, jewelry, salon service, groceries, gas, dining, cable TV, home repairs, furniture, and pet food between 2004 and 2007.

An information sheet released by the city referred to the surgery as "plastic surgery," but city and federal officials declined to elaborate.

In 2003, Kearney was paid a salary of $60,806, according to a tax filing by the nonprofit. A tax filing for the 2003 fiscal year shows that COLOURS received more than $1 million in government grants. How much was from the federal government is not specified.

A representative from COLOURS said the nonprofit would not have an immediate comment on the one theft charge against Kearney.

Prosecutors said Kearney had spent the money on herself without the knowledge or authorization of the board of directors of COLOURS.

She faces 12 to 18 months in prison and restitution payments if she is convicted.

Wilkins is charged with theft, witness tampering, and making a false statement. She faces 24 to 30 months in prison and restitution payments of convicted.

The housing agency also receives federal funding.

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or