• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the second time this week, the re-election plans of a longtime Philadelphia city council member are being challenged because of his or her participation in the city’s “DROP” pension program.

First it was Frank Rizzo (see related story).  Now, Council majority leader Marian Tasco (above) will find herself in a courtroom as political opponents question her right to run again — since is she enrolled in the DROP (“Deferred Retirement Option Plan”) pension program, which allows participants to collect a large, lump-sum pension payment in exchange for committing to certain retirement requirements.

Attorney Joe Doherty is filing the suit on behalf of two people related to one of Tasco’s primary opponents, Lamont Thomas.

Doherty says that by signing up for DROP, Tasco vowed to leave office.

“Councilwoman Tasco made an irrevocable commitment to retire.  She is not fulfilling that commitment by seeking re-election.  We are here to challenge her right to be on the ballot,” Doherty said this morning.

The legal challenges to both the the Tasco and Rizzo candidacies are scheduled to be argued on Friday.   A spokeswoman for Councilwoman Tasco said there will be no comment on the challenge until Friday’s hearing.

Four other council members enrolled in DROP have decided not to seek re-election (see related story).

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau chief Mike Dunn.

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