OARC calls on state to investigate ‘confidential report’ leak

An attorney representing the Ogontz Avenue Redevelopment Corp. has asked the commonwealth, Inspector General and/or Attorney General to “take steps to identify the person(s) who leaked [the] confidential report” referenced in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about allegations of alleged misspending or mismanagement of state-grant funding.

In a letter sent Monday to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel and a chief deputy attorney general (PDF), attorney David Fineman also asked that the report be provided to OARC.

“OARC is being tried in the press without prior notice of the claims against it, nor even a full picture of claims in the report,” Fineman wrote. “OARC did not expect that it would be blind-sided in the media through a leaked report that it has never seen nor had any opportunity to address.”

He continued that the source of the leak “should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for their misconduct. Such an investigation should be undertaken immediately to address this egregious conduct which not only victimizes OARC, but violates the Commonwealth’s own interest and the integrity of its undertakings.”

The report in question was referenced in a Sunday Inquirer story which stated “the Northwest Philadelphia nonprofit founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans misspent or mismanaged portions of state grants worth $12 million since 2006, violated bid rules, and made questionable real estate purchases with taxpayer funds, according to a state investigation.”

The letter did not make reference to any attempt to force the Inquirer to divulge its source.

A spokesman for the Office of General Counsel declined to comment Tuesday afternoon because of pending litigation in the case. An Attorney General’s Office representative was seeking official response to a NewsWorks request. This story will be updated when that is provided, which is expected to arrive Wednesday morning.

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