Bearing in mind that no one has been convicted of anything yet, accusations that nine city workers used their positions to enter and rob homes in the Northeast are really disheartening. From Julie Shaw's story:
Nine city workers who were assigned to clean up blight in Northeast Philadelphia instead acted like a "band of brigands" by illegally entering homes and ransacking them of cash, jewelry, TVs and guns, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said yesterday.
The nine are current or former employees of the Department of Licenses and Inspections or the Mayor's Office of Community Services who were assigned to the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), an anti-blight program supervised by the Managing Director's Office.
We've noted a couple of times on this blog that there's a kind of small-time corruption that is assumed to happen a lot in this city. It gets talked about in general more than in specific cases, but when it surfaces, it's something like a city real estate specialist giving a city house to her daughter's boyfriend, or an employee stealing 28 city cell phones.
This doesn't seem, to us, to fall into that same category. Not that stealing a house isn't a huge problem, but one would have hoped that supervision/personnel filters would have especially prevented something this personally abusive from going down. To state the painfully, painfully obvious: Residents shoudn't have to worry about city employees kicking them out of their homes and taking their stuff. That's really not city government working for us. If it's true, it's sad.