Republican ward leader Matt Wolfe plans to file a challenge March 9 to Councilman Frank Rizzo's right to be on the May 17 primary ballot.

In a letter dated Monday, Wolfe told Pamela Dembe, president judge of Common Pleas Court, that he would challenge Rizzo's ballot because the Councilman is enrolled in the city's Deferred Option Retirement Program, or DROP.

The controversial pension perk lets city employees collect a lump-sum upon retirement, in addition to a lower monthly pension. DROP enrollees are supposed to retiree, but Rizzo and some other elected officials have used a legal loopholle that lets them collect the money, retire for a day, and run again.

Wolfe said his suit will challenge whether Rizzo can do that.

Rizzo was not immediately available for comment. In the past, he has said he relied on the opinions of two city solicitors in deciding to run again.

Wolfe said he gave Dembe early notice of his intent to sue in the hope that it would make it easier for her to schedule the case during the busy election season.

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