Philly Controller looks at Commissioners office overtime

Philadelphia’s City Controller is upset about some big overtime paid out by the Philadelphia City Commissioners.

An audit of the City Commissioners found overtime costs between the years 2000 and 2008 comprised as much as 27 percent of the agency’s $5 million payroll. Controller Alan Butkovitz singled out one employee.

“We specifically highlighted one employee who made half of her salary in overtime. She was paid $47,000 of her regular salary in one year and got $44,000 in overtime. This added up to $390,000 over an eight-year period,” said Butkovitz.

Butkovitz says that much overtime for one person seems excessive.

“If there’s that much responsibility involved they should be at a level where they are not doing overtime. It’s a question of honest budgeting. This is to open to manipulation,” he said.

The overtime occurred during the period when Marge Tartaglione was head of the commissioners. A call to Tartaglione’s phone went unanswered, with no way to leave a message.

Until yesterday, Stephanie Singer was the chair of the commissioners.  Singer took office this year pledging reform.  Now the other two commissioners,  Al Schmidt and Anthony Clark, are co-chairs. 

The overtime analysis does not cover this year, when Singer was in control.  Though there likely was a lot of extra expense in recent days as her staff sought to process a glut of voter registration forms filed right at the deadline.  People were working on those applications on weekends and during Superstorm Sandy to get them finished in time for the election.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.