The city's acting personnel director resigned this week after an inspector general investigation showed that she had tampered with a civil-service test to help a friend.

City Inspector General Amy Kurland said that Tanya Smith had invalidated the written portion of a management-trainee exam last year after learning that a favorite employee in the Personnel Department had failed.

Kurland said that Smith also had tried to thwart the investigation, adding that Smith had made false statements and had asked others to lie to investigators.

Last week, Kurland recommended to the Civil Service Commission - a three-member board that has the power to hire and fire the personnel director - that Smith be removed from her job and barred from civil-service jobs for five years.

Before the commission took action, Smith resigned.

Smith, a city employee since 1989, made $128,153 as acting personnel director. In 2005, Smith and her department helped the Philadelphia Board of Ethics develop a city-wide "ethics-training program." She was named acting personnel director in 2006.

Smith has been out on medical leave for several months. Efforts to reach her late yesterday for comment were unsuccessful.

Complaints about the tampered test were first made to former Inspector General Seth Williams, who held the position until Mayor Nutter took office in January. Williams said that the office got calls about the test last summer.

"We received information about irregularities about the examinations," Williams said. "The whole reason why the civil service was created was to protect against that."

Williams said that the investigation showed that Smith was acting to help a personal friend.

Nutter has made ethics reform a key part of his mayoral agenda. He appointed former federal prosecutor Joan Markman as the city's first-ever chief integrity officer, to make sure that administration officials are doing the right thing. And Kurland is another former prosecutor.

Kurland stressed that Smith's actions should not cast a bad light on other city workers.

"I would hope that this does not poorly impact the rest of the city employees who we believe are honest employees," she said. "This is one person." *