Philadelphia controller takes aim at sheriff

    As Sheriff John Green prepares to retire, his office is accused of stonewalling on providing audit information. Controller Alan Butkowitz vows investigation.

    Just days before retiring, Philadelphia’s sheriff is feeling heat from the city controller.

    City Controller Alan Butkowitz said Tuesday the sheriff’s office has refused to cooperate with an audit of its custodial accounts. The accounts are used to hold proceeds from foreclosure auctions until settlement. Butkowitz said he’s taking action to make sure the accounts really hold the $53 million they should.

    “We are now moving aggressively to conduct a full-scale forensic audit of the sheriff’s department and all 11 custodial accounts. We will use the courts if necessary to force cooperation with our office,” said Butkowitz. “At no time in recent memory has a city agency so blatantly refused to cooperate and provide the controller’s office with the information necessary for an audit.”

    The controller also found more than a dozen employees did not keep time sheets or records of vacation and sick days. The office run by Sheriff John Green said it has sent the files to the controller and is working on strengthening its sick-leave policy.

    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.