C ITY CONTROLLER Alan Butkovitz on Thursday asked the Nutter administration to start paying for five of his staffers who have been on the school district's payroll.

Because they have been paid through the district, the five have not been subject to a city ban on political activity. But the Board of Ethics' executive director, Shane Creamer, last month released an opinion from City Solicitor Shelley Smith that said those workers should be subject to the same rules as other city workers.

City Finance Director Rob Dubow said the city would assume the expense. Butkovitz last month said the combined paychecks of those staffers was $265,059. But the cost will be higher by including benefit costs, said First Deputy City Controller Harvey Rice.

Once the workers are on the city payroll, they will not be allowed to do political work. Rice said that the employees who had previously held political posts have stepped down from the positions. They will also all receive ethics training.

- Catherine Lucey