Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Maybe This Explains Why Philly Isn't So Pretty These Days

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced the indictment of former Streets Department Commissioner William Johnson, Assistant City Managing Director David Robinson, and former Executive Director of "Keep Philadelphia Beautiful" Mark N. Viggiano on conspiracy and theft of government program funds for taking $13,000 from the "Keep Philadelphia Beautiful:" fund and using it for a going-away party for Johnson.  In a press release (here), U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan stated, "This was money that was supposed to help make Philadelphia a better place to live, not provide entertainment for a city official . . . The amount of money isn’t as significant as the abuse of trust by two public servants and the gatekeeper of federal funds given to the Streets Department."  Indeed, while the amount is small, Sec. 666 charges are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, so I hope it was a very nice party. (ph)

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