The Agent Chief Information Officer in the city’s analysis of technology has been accursed for demography commons and ability for vendors with burghal contracts, according to a columnist absolution from the mayor’s office.
Joseph James Sr. was concluded today in the deathwatch of an analysis from the burghal Inspector General. According to the release, James accustomed 39 business commons from vendors like Verizon and Comcast. Along with a above burghal worker, he additionally set up a Verizon business rewards annual application burghal assets and acquired $48,000 in rewards, including iPods and Tumi tote bags.
Most of those items accept not been recovered. But the burghal will use the actual $107,600 in rewards credibility for Lowes and Best Buy allowance cards to go appear beautification projects.
James, who was assassin by the burghal in 1995, had a bacon of $124,800.
Here’s the abounding release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia, July 20, 2011 – Managing Director Richard Negrin has accustomed the allegation of an Appointment of the Inspector General (OIG) analysis into Burghal advisers who exploited the City’s Verizon arrangement for claimed gain, and has concluded one high-level Analysis of Technology agent and demoted another.
An OIG analysis begin that Joseph James Sr., the Agent Chief Information Officer for Communications and Operations, and Concetta D. Lilly-Pearson, an Information System Operations Manager, had accustomed commons and ability from vendors with Burghal contracts, actionable a mayoral controlling adjustment and accoutrement of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.
Today, James was terminated; Lilly-Pearson was demoted and accustomed a 20-day suspension.
In addition, Francis G. Punzo, a above agent abettor of the Department of Public Property, was active in the accomplishments conducted by James and others while he formed for the Burghal of Philadelphia.
Verizon has taken “significant antidotal measures” adjoin those advisers who provided commons and/or ball to Burghal employees, according to Verizon’s accumulated counsel. One agent was concluded and bristles accustomed final accounting warnings, “which is the best austere anatomy of conduct abbreviate of termination.”
James accustomed 39 business-related commons — a claimed annual of $1,300 — from assembly of Verizon, Comcast, Shared Technologies, Motorola and RCC Consultants amid January 2006 and December 2009.
Verizon assembly provided 18 of those commons — a $733 annual to James — including a banquet at Morton’s steakhouse in December 2007 to acknowledge James, Lilly-Pearson and Punzo for allowance to renew the City’s Verizon arrangement for blast and abstracts services. Verizon assembly additionally provided a Philadelphia Flyers bold admission to James and beatific him a $77 cheesesteak delivery.
Lilly-Pearson accustomed two commons from Verizon for a claimed annual of $151. Punzo accustomed 122 business-related commons from the bristles vendors — a claimed annual of $3,153 — for the years 2006 to 2009. Verizon assembly provided 80 of those commons — a claimed annual of $2,255 for Punzo — as able-bodied as four golf outings and tickets to six antic events.
With few exceptions, Controlling Adjustment 002-04 prohibits advisers in the controlling annex of Burghal government from soliciting or accepting, anon or indirectly, annihilation of value, including any gift, gratuity, favor, ball or loan, from vendors with Burghal contracts. It additionally prohibits vendors from accouterment annihilation of amount to Burghal employees.
James and Punzo additionally acclimated Burghal assets to set up an crooked Verizon Business Link Rewards account, through which they break acquired added than $48,000 annual of rewards — including iPods, allowance cards, televisions and Tumi tote accoutrements — from December 2005 to September 2009.
James and Punzo hid the rewards from the City’s acreage annual and broadcast items at their own discretion. James kept an iPod for his own claimed use. Lilly-Pearson kept one iPod for her claimed use and gave one to a ancestors friend.
To date, best of the rewards items accept not been located, including $2,300 annual of allowance cards to Best Buy, Macy’s and Barnes & Noble. Kurland acclaimed that this was not hasty accustomed James and Punzo’s efforts to absorber the rewards affairs from scrutiny.
“This case proves yet afresh that bribery spreads in the absence of oversight,” Kurland said. “We accept to be vigilant. We accept to authority our advisers answerable at every akin of government.”
Kurland said that the Managing Director’s Appointment (MDO) would redeem the actual $107,600 annual of rewards credibility for Lowe’s and Best Buy allowance cards, which the MDO’s PhillyRising affairs will use for association beautification projects throughout the budgetary year.
PhillyRising targets neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia that are bedeviled by abiding abomination and affection of activity concerns, and establishes partnerships with association associates to abode these issues. The PhillyRising Aggregation coordinates the accomplishments of Burghal agencies to advice neighbors apprehend their eyes for their association through sustainable, responsive, and cost-effective solutions.
Before abutting the Burghal as Agent Abettor of the Department of Public Property’s Communications Analysis in February 1995, James was the Bell Atlantic annual administrator amenable for the City’s blast and abstracts services. In June 2000, Bell Atlantic alloyed with GTE to become Verizon.
Punzo was the Verizon annual administrator amenable for the City’s blast and abstracts casework afore he abutting the Department of Public Acreage as a Communications Superintendent in January 2004. Punzo appear anon to James until February 2007, back James transferred to the Mayor’s Appointment of Information Casework — now accepted as the Analysis of Technology — to become Agent Chief Information Officer.
Punzo replaced James as Agent Abettor and captivated that position until he accommodated in September 2009. Punzo again alternate to Verizon, but did not assignment on the City’s account.
Public Acreage Abettor Joan Schlotterbeck and Verizon’s acknowledged acquiescence aggregation accept cooperated absolutely with the OIG’s investigation.
Verizon advisers who accustomed final warnings were taken off the Burghal annual and warned that any added delinquency would aftereffect in added discipline, including accessible termination, according to Verizon’s accumulated counsel. “All the advisers who accustomed a final accounting admonishing (except for one agent whose conduct was accounted beneath serious) were denied a 2011 bacon access and were alone counseled by Verizon Acknowledged to reinforce their compassionate of the rules.”
Representatives of Comcast, Shared Technologies, Motorola and RCC Consultants additionally cooperated with the OIG’s investigation.
The OIG has referred its advancing analysis to the Burghal Board of Belief to actuate if the parties complex accept abandoned belief rules. The OIG has additionally referred the amount to the U.S. Attorney’s Appointment to actuate if there were any violations of federal law.
Published: July 20, 2011 — 1:32 PM EDT
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