City officials in DROP continue fight to run again

Representatives of two City Council members and the head of the City Commissioners stood before a Philadelphia judge to address a challenge to their eligibility to run for re-election.

Philadelphia Councilman Frank Rizzo, Councilwoman Marian Tasco and City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione have all been challenged on the basis that their entry into the controversial DROP retirement program makes them ineligible to run for re-election.

Attorney Christopher Warren was animated Friday in his defense of Rizzo.

“What they are trying to do is to say a pension code provision somehow changed his qualifications to hold office under the Philadelphia Charter and the Pennsylvania Constitution,” Warren said. “You can’t do that.”

Matthew Wolfe is one of those opposing the eligibility of the candidates. He said two city solicitor rulings that found elected officials could take the drop payment and run for re-election don’t count.

“The city solicitor’s opinion is not the word of God, it’s not a judicial determination. We’re here to seek a judicial determination,” Wolfe said.

The judge in the case is reviewing testimony. Any ruling is expected to be appealed to Commonwealth Court.

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