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City's temporary tax collecting chief is out

Thomas Knudsen, the city's Chief Revenue Collections Officer, is leaving the Nutter administration.

After months of reigning in outstanding debts from the city's tax deadbeats, the mayor's press office announced that Knudsen's job is done and his responsibilities will be reassigned to Revenue Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson.

Tolson's new title will be Chief Collections Officer & Revenue Commissioner with a $10,000 pay raise from her original salary of $150,000, and a mayoral spokesman said her pay increase is not linked to the title addition. Knudsen had a $160,000 six-month contract with the city.

"Down the road, they had expected to bring the two positions under one auspice. Tom did what needed to be done and now Clarena will implement," said Nutter Press Secretary Mark McDonald.

Knudsen's departure was announced through a late-day press release from the mayor's office and congratulated him on a job well done. He was appointed in April as the city's first ever Chief Revenue Collections Officer, after the mayor deemed the city needed a more cohesive approach to debt collecting.

"From Tom's hard work, we have now reached the point at which we can successfully combine both responsibilities within one position overseeing the revenue department," Finance Director Rob Dubow wrote in a prepared statement.

Knudsen has been lauded for turning around the debt-ridden Philadelphia Gas Works and also for recovering monies owed to the school district during its budget crisis.