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Controller asks to move workers off the school district payroll

City Controller Alan Butkovitz today asked the Nutter administration to take over the salary costs for five staffers that were previously on the school district payroll.

Because they were paid through the district, those workers were not subject to a city ban on political activity. But Board of Ethics Executive Director Shane Creamer last month released an opinion from City Solicitor Shelley Smith that said those workers should be subject to the same rules as other city employees.

City Finance Director Rob Dubow said the city would assume the expense. Butkovitz last month said the combined paychecks of those staffers was $265,059. But the total cost for the city will be higher when you figure out the benefit costs, said Butkovitz's First Deputy City Solicitor Harvey Rice.

Once the workers are on the city payroll, they will not be allowed to be political. Rice said that the employees who had previously held political posts have stepped down from the positions. They will also all receive ethics training.