Philadelphia

Philly Deputy Mayors, Police Chief Getting Paid More Than Charter Allows, May Be Double Dipping, Also Prohibited by Charter

City controller investigating

|

ka ching
Versatile Aure/flickr

Philadelphia may effectively be a one-party town, but it may not be completely bereft of intragovernment accountability, at least not when it may be politically beneficial. The Democrat city controller, Alan Butkowitz, who wants to run for mayor, is launching an investigation into the city's Democrat mayor, Michael Nutter, over why several of his top aides have multiple titles and are being paid more than the City Charter allows. The investigation picks up in part on allegations by Matthew Wolfe, a Republican ward leader, that the mayor's aides were effectively doing what the city's inspector general found 13 part-time city employees doing last month, double dipping.

Philadelphia's charter prohibits government workers from being employed by multiple government agencies, but the inspector general found thirteen workers for the city's recreational department were collecting salaries, and pensions, from other government agencies, ranging from the school district to the post office. Liberals are big on registering and listing people like gun owners, so it's surprising (or not) that Philadelphia doesn't have a master list of registered government employees that could prevent workers from defrauding the city by drawing multiple paychecks in the first place.

Neverthless, the mayor claims his aides are nothing like the 13 part-time workers (apparently mostly teachers working summers at a city rec center), because they only take the one paycheck and have the one pension. Even if true, the mayor's aides remain afoul of the City Charter, as it not only prohibits double dipping but also sets limits on how much those mayor's aides can be paid. That limit is below the generous salary officials like Alan Greenberger, the deputy mayor for economic development, and Donald Schwarz, the deputy mayor for health and opportunity, get paid. Those two, for example, get $164,000 a year. Via Philly.com:

Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, said [Republican ward leader Matthew] Wolfe had it all wrong—that the deputy mayors have more than one title but just one salary. He said their pay is above the caps because of cost-of-living increases and "additional duties" assigned them.

Wolfe said there was "no way" cost-of-living adjustments explain Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey's salary of $261,375.

McDonald said Ramsey is both police commissioner and public safety director. "It's one job, one paycheck with multiple duties," McDonald said, arguing that two titles do not mean two jobs.

How are "additional duties" that mean more money in your paycheck different from a "second job"? Because they said so. Philly's double dipping prohibition, even with its problems in enforcement, is better than the situation in New Jersey, where double dipping is the norm. One New Jersey "public servant" was recently revealed to have landed his sixth government job, bringing his salary close to $300,000 a year. And nothing else happened.

h/t Dan Pearson

NEXT: Danish Woman Gang-Raped in Delhi

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. but self-interest and greed are never part of the public employee DNA. The progs told me so.

  2. Charter – Shmarter I say.

    1. Exactly. These guys are TOP MEN. Laws that apply to hoi polloi are irrelevant.

  3. The Democrat city controller, Alan Butkowitz, who wants to run for mayor, is launching an investigation into the city’s Democrat mayor, Michael Nutter, over why several of his top aides have multiple titles and are being paid more than the City Charter allows.

    And if successful I look forward to the day when another Democrat challenger investigates Mayor Butkowitz for similar graft. Fuck you, Philadelphia.

  4. Nutter? Butkowitz? Who’s next? Mulva?

  5. It’s Always Money in Philadelphia.

    1. Philadelphia may effectively be a one-party town

      Who am I supposed to vote for – the Democrat who’s blasting us in the ass, or the other Democrat who will most certainly blast us in the ass?

      1. Vote for the one who will at least give you the God damned common courtesy of a reach around.

    2. @10:39. Boo.

  6. Cities’ financial problems are all the fault of greedy suburbanites who steal from the cities by not paying enough in commuter taxes, teathuglican state legislators who steal from the cities by not giving them enough state aid, and market forces that steal from the cities by moving jobs to better managed undertaxed and underregulated localities. I know this because the metropolitan newspapers keep telling me so.

  7. I don’t see an inherent conflict between being a municipal employee and a part-time letter carrier since the municipal government and the USPS are entirely separate. I have mixed feelings about prohibiting outside employment that doesn’t create a conflict of interest with the municipal job, but no reason to prohibit weekend letter carrying any more than working a part time restaurant job (unless you’re a health inspector, SLD).

    Nor do I have a problem with teachers on summer break working for parks and rec (again, SLD).

    I do have a major problem with Boss Tweed style arrangements.

    1. Also, also big difference between low-level employees (ie, teechurz) and department heads. Cops should always be subject to extra scrutiny because of the powers they wield (don’t like that? Quit.).

    2. Yeah, I don’t really get the teacher double-dipping part.

      Aren’t teachers, technically, not *working* for the school during the summer break? So they aren’t having more than one government job *at a time*.

      And a having a second *federal* job should have no effect on this – that’s a completely separate government.

  8. Obligatory Futurama quote:

    Yep. Buzzed ahead, let’em know whose aide was coming by. The mayor’s, that’s whose.

  9. Relevant repost: http://assets.wharton.upenn.ed….._paper.pdf

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.