Six employees of the city and the Philadelphia Parking Authority have been fired or forced to resign after a probe by the city inspector general found them fixing parking tickets for friends, family, co-workers and an unidentified fleet of delivery vehicles.
"The integrity of the entire department was compromised," city Inspector General Amy Kurland said at a news conference yesterday, describing the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (BAA), the arm of the city Finance Department that handles parking-ticket appeals.
The agency was led by Clorise Wynn, 56, who gave up her $101,000-a-year job as a deputy finance director two weeks ago after an interview with Kurland's investigators.
"Wynn created a workplace where there was virtually no supervision," Kurland said. "There were no clear rules as to how ticket appeals would be processed. . . . Line staff was left on their own and isolated, and there was basically no policy to prevent ticket fixing among co-workers, friends, family and acquaintances of the people who worked there."
Kurland accused Wynn of fixing 35 tickets for her daughter and personally handling about $50,000 worth of parking tickets for a company that provided her with free or discounted food.
The Nutter administration declined to identify the company, other than to say its fleet of vehicles often received parking tickets.
Wynn, a sister-in-law of Philadelphia Sheriff John Green, could not be reached for comment yesterday. She told the Daily News two weeks ago that she had done nothing wrong but was "very, very tired of all this," apparently referring to her city job.
Wynn initiated the investigation after finding paperwork on her desk suggesting that one employee at the BAA had fixed tickets for another.
Wynn had directed the BAA's activities since 2003, when its former director, Joseph F. Hoffman Jr., was replaced after the FBI caught him on videotape accepting cash bribes from the owner of a taxi fleet who wanted deep discounts on his parking tickets. Statistics showed that Hoffman had personally thrown out 126,000 parking tickets over a six-year period.
Kurland, who handled the Hoffman case as a federal prosecutor, said the current probe uncovered no allegations of cash changing hands and a relatively small number of improperly dismissed tickets, probably fewer than 1,000.
Kurland said her report - not available to the public - would be sent to District Attorney Seth Williams, but there was no indication that she was recommending criminal prosecution.
Mayor Nutter commended the Republican-controlled Parking Authority for cooperating with the investigation and agreeing to fire two PPA employees - Robin Bass, a $48,970-a-year clerk assigned to the BAA, and her son, Reginald Bass-Reid, a coin collector paid $34,886 annually. They were accused of having their own tickets thrown out improperly.
The three other BAA employees who lost their jobs were Joanna Schofield, a $44,210-a-year supervisor who took early retirement several weeks ago, and two $36,400-a-year hearing officers, Ivette Garcia and Denean Hardy.
Schofield failed to enforce office rules requiring citizens to sign a log to appeal parking tickets and requiring hearing officers to record their meetings with the public, Kurland said. Garcia and Hardy allegedly threw out tickets for family members and acquaintances.