By Joe Holden, Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are new allegations of questionable spending against several past officials in former mayor Michael Nutter’s administration.
The city controller issued the latest findings from an investigation into the “Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia.” It’s a non-profit organization that supports city programs and initiatives.
There are significant spending questions once again.
“This is money that’s supposed to be used for youth programs, families in need, environmental initiatives and many other community-based needs,” Butkovitz said.
The controller is calling on former city officials under the Michael Nutter administration to reimburse the fund more than $200,000.
Many of those charges, according to the report, were accrued by the fund’s former executive director Desiree Peterkin Bell.
Bell has previously denied anything improper occurred with spending, but her credit card, tied to the fund, racked up 458 Uber rides, according to the audit.
To further break down how some of the money was spent, the report shows $70,000 was spent on hotel stays, at least four Nutter administrators, including the former mayor, had two hotel rooms each during the Papal visit in Philadelphia.
There’s the $8,000 for Uber, $11,000 for plane and train tickets and hundreds of dollars for food.
And Nutter is personally being called on to pay back $22,100 for a farewell party that was held when he was leaving office.
“There is little if any indication from documents or those who attended as to how this event benefited Philadelphians other than the mayor’s inner circle,” the city controller said.
Butkovitz says he’s turning the findings over to prosecutors for further investigation.
The fund’s former chairwoman says the “accusations are untrue” but did not address specifics. Nutter also calls the audit ‘false.’ In an emailed statement, he said, “the controller is trying to create an issue where there is no issue.”
Nutter did not address the charges for his farewell party.