PHILADELPHIA Gov. Corbett has named a Philadelphia lawyer and state Republican operative to the board that oversees the city's finances.

Lawrence Tabas, chairman of the health law department at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel L.L.P., was tapped Thursday to fill a vacancy on the five-member Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority board. Tabas, who has been general counsel to the Republican state committee for nearly a decade, will replace three-time mayoral candidate Sam Katz, who stepped down in February and left open the possibility of another run for mayor.

Though he is interested in being PICA's chairman, Tabas said, that would be a collective decision of the board. He is expected to be sworn in for a two-year term at its next meeting, on Tuesday.

Formerly a bankruptcy lawyer, Tabas ran for city controller in 1985 and City Council in 1991. "I've always had an interest in city finances," he said Tuesday. Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni cited Tabas' past service on the state's Independent Regulatory Review Commission and his previous runs for city office.

- Claudia Vargas