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New Philadelphia Sheriff Promises a More Open, Honest Operation

(The 10 Rittenhouse condominium apartment building rises just north of Rittenhouse Square.  Image provided)

(The 10 Rittenhouse condominium apartment building rises just north of Rittenhouse Square. Image provided)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Newly elected Philadelphia sheriff Jewell Williams oversaw his first mortgage foreclosure sale today, and pledged a new era of openness and honesty at the scandal-plagued sheriff’s office.

It’s only his second week on the job (see related story), but Sheriff Williams is moving rapidly clean up the office. He allowed cameras and microphones to record the foreclosure for the first time ever, and announced a new ethics policy:

“To make sure that employees do not have the opportunity to bid or anyone who lives in the household or family related to the sheriff can buy a sheriff’s sale property, because the opportunity something can be done illegal is there and we don’t want to create it.”

Williams also working on creating a computer system that will, as he puts it, “bring the office into the 21st century” (see related story).

Tuesday’s foreclosure sale featured 129 units at the swanky 10 Rittenhouse, a 33-story condominium complex near Rittenhouse Square that went into receivership last year.

Senior lender IStar Financial bought the properties for a price in excess of $200 million.

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