Councilman questions Philly mayoral candidate’s appearance in PGW ad

Listen
 Philadelphia Gas Works vice president Doug Oliver (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Gas Works vice president Doug Oliver (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A Philadelphia councilman is questioning the ethics of a potential mayoral candidate being the face of a city-owned utility’s ad campaign.

Councilman Jim Kenney said he can’t understand why Doug Oliver, a vice president of PGW, was allowed to be the face of the Philadelphia Gas Works in TV ads for an energy assistance program after Oliver said he was exploring a run for mayor.

“When I started seeing those commercials, I said this does not add up,” Kenney said Tuesday. “It does not look right.”

Oliver, who has said he’ll quit his job and plan a campaign announcement, has served as PGW  spokesman for years as part of his position as vice president of marketing, said Barry O’Sullivan, a representative of the utility.

“We felt it not only appropriate to use him, but we felt not using him it would actively undermine the effectiveness of our LIHEAP program,” O’Sullivan said. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills

Kenney said he will ask the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics to review the Oliver situation.

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.