PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With a stroke of the pen, Mayor Nutter today abolished the Clerk of Quarter Sessions — the independently elected city office that handles bail proceeds.

Mayor Nutter signed the bill passed by City Council last spring to abolish the Clerk of Quarter Sessions.  The last elected clerk, Vivian Miller, has retired.  The office’s duties and its 100+ employees have been folded into the court system itself.

Since April, court officials have been trying to locate millions of dollars in missing bail forfeiture proceeds.  President Judge Pamela Dembe (second from right in photo) says there’s no evidence of impropriety:
“So while a lot of accounting was nonexistent or difficult to trace, we haven’t seen evidence of people walking off with bags of money.”

Since the court took control, Dembe says, they’ve had a 27-percent increase in the amount of forfeited bail being collected.

Reported by KYW Newsradio City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn.

Photo by Mike Dunn

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