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DROP participants will retire and return

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire on Friday, collect a six-figure pension payment and then return to work after she is sworn-in on Monday to serve her seventh term.

Francis Bielli, executive director for the city's Board of Pensions and Retirement, said he was recently notified that Tasco, who is enrolled in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, will retire on Friday and collect $478,057.

Tasco did not respond to requests for comment.

Tasco was reelected despite her participation in DROP, which drew public ire after elected officials entered the program, ran for re-election and retired for a day to get hefty pension payments, only to return to office.

Retiring Councilman Frank DiCicco, who is also in the program, considered running for re-election, but after controversy erupted over DROP, he decided not to. Retiring Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who is also enrolled in DROP made a similar decision. Councilman Frank Rizzo lost reelection due in-part to his participation in DROP. Retiring members Jack Kelly and Council president Anna Verna are also DROP participants.

Some City Hall insiders said DROP was Tasco's biggest roadblock in her unsuccessful bid for Council president –the second most politically powerful job in the city. Several incoming members said they would not support a DROP participant for president. Councilman Darrell Clarke will be Council's next president replacing Verna.

Mayor Nutter has tried in vain to eliminate the DROP program. In September, Council voted to override Nutter's veto of a bill, sponsored by Tasco that would preserve the DROP program, while reducing its cost.

Nutter has vowed to work "tirelessly" to abolish the program.

Another elected official set to return after collecting his DROP payment is Register of Wills Ronald Donatucci, who retired Dec. 23 and will also return on Monday, Bielli said. He collected $366,797.