By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s Controller is accusing the Nutter Administration of having two sets of standards on city workers. After the Administration fired 13 part-time Recreation Department workers for holding other jobs, the Controller is asking if top aides to the mayor are double-dipping by holding two titles.
Several top aides to the mayor — such as the Police Commissioner — hold multiple titles, which allows them to be paid more than limits imposed by the City Charter. The Administration says this is a way to give top officials competitive salaries. But Controller Alan Butkovitz says it may not be any different than the case of Rec Center part-timers who worked for the school district and who were fired this month for holding two titles.
“The old adage is what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If the rule applies generally to city employees, it should be applied generally,” he said. “It should not just be applied punitively against people who are making low salaries while there’s a different set of rules for people who are at the top.”
Butkovitz has now asked the mayor’s top attorney, Solicitor Shelley Smith, to render an opinion on whether the mayor’s salary tactic is legal. And if its legal, Butkovitz wants to know why the Rec Center workers were let go.
“So why isn’t that solution applicable to low-level employees?” he asks. “For example, if you’re a teacher, and you’re performing services at a city recreation center, why don’t they make that person a teacher/recreation leader, and handle the same way that they do for these deputy mayors?”
The workers were fired on January 2nd after an investigation by the mayor’s Inspector General.
The City Solicitor, Shelley Smith, tells KYW Newsradio that the use of multiple titles for top aides is legal because their salaries are only derived from one of the titles… ‘Deputy Mayor’… which is not limited by the Charter. The fired workers, she says, were drawing salaries from both positions, which is prohibited.