Philly’s new sheriff looks to the past to move office forward

Looking to Philadelphia’s past to staff his office, new Sheriff Jewell Williams has named Ben Hayllar as deputy for finance and accountability.

Williams says Hayllar was the finance director for seven years under former Mayor Ed Rendell. Williams says he also was the interim president of Philadelphia Gas Works.

“We’re moving forward and we’re moving towards having a better sheriff’s office and make the office more open and more transparent,” Williams said.

Reacting to the appointment, Mayor Michael Nutter said he recalls Hayllar.

“I had contact with him when I was a member of city council,” Nutter said. “He brought us the DROP program, but I have no idea what his role is at the Sheriff’s office.”

DROP is the retirement incentive program Nutter wants to kill.

Williams is pledging to restore public trust and confidence in the sheriff’s office.

Former City Controller Joe Vignola has been appointed undersheriff. He was brought into the office in an acting capacity after federal authorities announced they were reviewing the operations of the office.

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