Philadelphia fires, demotes 30 employees over ethics violations

Philadelphia City Hall. (WHYY file photo)

Philadelphia City Hall. (WHYY file photo)

Philadelphia officials continue to crack down on employees who ignore ethics rules.

In 2018, 30 employees were suspended, demoted or terminated over violating city ethics rules. One employee was caught teaching a class instead of working, said Amy Kurland, the city’s inspector general.

As Kurland and Mayor Jim Kenney helped swear in new integrity officers Wednesday, they detailed the ways employees have wrongly accepted outside employment, gifts or gratuities.

“In 2018, the office of the inspector general saved and recovered over $10 million, that is more than nine times our budget,” Kurland said.

Violations occurred in all corners of city government, she said.

“Cases such as theft of time, where people misrepresented their time sheets or leave requests,” she said. “There were several cases of several people collecting commercial trash outside of their sectors and sometimes in exchange for cash.”

One of the most egregious examples, Kurland said, was an employee who falsified time sheets by claiming to be on the job while teaching a college class.

On a lighter note, officials say they made $6 selling a Nerf gun given to a city employee as a reward for a job well done.  The gun was turned into integrity officials, who put it on an auction site designed to sell surplus government equipment.

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