PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s city controller is alleging a former high-ranking Nutter administration official misused tens of thousands of dollars from the proceeds of the Philadelphia Marathon.
Controller Alan Butkovitz says an audit shows Desiree Peterkin-Bell, who held a variety of positions during the Nutter administration’s eight years, was chair of the Mayors Fund for the Philadelphia Marathon.
Butkovitz says the board, made up of Nutter administration officials, created a reserve account in the marathon fund in 2014. The controller says Peterkin-Bell used nearly $52,000 from it to pay for such things as Philadelphia hotel rooms for an unnamed group last fall.
And over $51,000 for a trip to Rome for the mayor and executive staff last summer, months before the pope came to Philadelphia.
“This action resulted in several questionable expenditures that raised red flags across the board. In fact, instead of making grant awards it appears the former chairperson used the reserves account as if it were a special slush fund.”
Butkovitz says there was little supporting documentation, other than credit card receipts, to justify the expenses.
The controller says the matter was brought to his attention by the current executive director of the non-profit fund, who said she first alerted Mayor Kenney’s office of what she considered questionable expenses.