PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Pennsylvania state lawmaker says Philadelphia’s schools chief has suspended district whistleblowers who went public with information about a no-bid contract to a minority firm.
State Rep. Michael McGeehan of North Philadelphia says Philadelphia school superintendent Arlene Ackerman suspended — with pay — five employees for inappropriately sharing confidential district information with the press.
The Inquirer reported last month that Ackerman steered a no-bid security camera deal to a minority company.
The district on Monday night issued a statement saying an “outside expert” is being brought in to look into the district’s business and facilities operations. McGeehan says Ackerman’s self-ordered probe isn’t worth the paper it’ll be written on.
“If she’s not part of this investigation, if she’s directing the investigation to look at certain aspects, I think it’s ridiculous,” McGeehan told KYW Newsradio on Tuesday. “I think it’s clearly a move to intimidate and silence anyone from coming forward in the future.”
McGeehan says he is asking the state attorney general to investigate the district for violating the state’s whistleblower laws.
There was no immediate comment from the school district.
Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060.