Councilman Rizzo Faces Court Challenge To Re-election Effort; ‘DROP’ Pension At Issue

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia GOP ward leader has gone to court, trying to get longtime city councilman Frank Rizzo thrown off the primary ballot.

At issue: Rizzo’s enrollment in the lump sum city pension payout known as “DROP.”

Republican ward leader Matthew Wolfe argues that because Councilman Rizzo is signed up for DROP he has committed himself to retiring at the end of his term and to not seeking re-election.

“The law requires an elected official, including a city councilman, to make an irrevocable commitment to separate from city service and retire.  It’s very simple,” says Wolfe, who has now gone to court to get Rizzo dropped from the ballot for the May 17th primary.

Wolfe says this challenge could end up in the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court.

Councilman Rizzo referred questions to his attorneys. Late Monday afternoon, Rizzo attorney Christopher Warren said the lawsuit is “absolutely baseless” and has “no legal merit.” He said Wolfe had filed it for “political grandstanding purposes.”

Six current Council members are enrolled in DROP.  Four have elected not to run again.  Only Rizzo and Marian Tasco, a Democrat, are seeking another term.

Three years ago two other elected officials, Councilwoman Joan Krajewski and city commissioner Marge Tartaglione, were re-elected despite being in DROP.   They retired for a single day at the end of their term, collected their lump-sum pension payouts, and then were sworn in to new terms at the start of 2008.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau chief Mike Dunn.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Tom says:

    its a shame he may collect drop he hasnt contribited nothing to this city.He has been ridding on his fathers name basically he is usless. I think all of city councel should be physically thrown out.All they do is collect free money and rape the tax payers and make a career of doing nothing and get paid for it plus a lot of perks!

  2. bottomline says:

    This presents a good example of why there should be term limits. The mayor and city council positions should be limited to two terms, total. Drop DROP.

  3. NS says:

    Time to retire, Franny. Stop clinging on; you don’t own the seat.

  4. RUB A DUB DUB 3 CROOKS IN A TUB says:

    FIRST, KRAJEWSKI, THEN TARTAGLINE, AND NOW RIZZO. 3 PEE’SIN A POD

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT REPUBLICIANS VS DEMOCRATS, THOUGH IM SURE FEW
    DEMOCRATS WOULD SPEAK OPENILY ABOUT THIS.

    WE CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA SAY “DROP THEM , FROM OFFICE”
    ITS PURE GREED, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.. THE AVERAGE VOTER KNOWS NOTHING OF “DROP” TIMIE TO CHANGE THE DIAPERS HERE

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