MAYOR NUTTER yesterday unleashed a Donald Trump-style verbal beating on City Controller Alan Butkovitz, labeling his report on L&I "outrageous," "misguided" and "irresponsible."
"The controller seems to desperately seek public attention and relevance in any number of ways," Nutter said.
"We're not going to get distracted by that kind of nonsense or ego or narcissistic personality disorder that seems to compel the need for constant public attention," Nutter continued.
Butkovitz's special investigation report, issued yesterday, on the troubled city department calls on Mayor Nutter to fire Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams, citing excessive overtime, dangerous illegal demolitions and nonpermitted construction projects. In addition, the report calls on Nutter to implement a host of recommendations to improve the department, among them: requiring all L&I inspectors be certified and prioritizing the workload so that dangerous or hazardous properties are demolished immediately.
Yesterday, Nutter, with Williams by his side, told reporters during an impromptu City Hall news conference, that the L&I chief would be staying put until the Nutter administration leaves office in January.
L&I came under scrutiny after six people died during a 2013 building collapse at 22nd and Market streets. But Nutter said the department is undergoing needed "transformation" and "reform" under Williams' leadership.
He noted that a $4.5 million computer software upgrade is underway and will be fully implemented by spring.
"Yet, [Butkovitz] continues on a personal crusade to try to damage the reputation of a fine public servant and create confusion and fear out in the public with regard to building safety," said Nutter, who noted that Butkovitz has never asked to meet with him about L&I.
Butkovitz countered that Nutter slashed L&I's $30 million budget by one-third after taking office in 2008 and is late with upgrading the department's dysfunctional computer system, allowing employees to run amok with overtime claims.
"Why in the world is [Nutter] outraged?" he said. "The people who should be outraged are the people who lost loved ones at the 22nd and Market collapse."
Nutter "doesn't want to talk about his own behavior in causing these cutbacks that have made it impossible to have a safe L&I in the first place," Butkovitz said. "He wants to try to do a weak Donald Trump imitation."
Earlier in the day, Nutter held his ninth media briefing on Pope Francis' Sept. 26 and 27 visit to the city.
"This is really about civic pride, about using this historic opportunity to essentially tell our story to the world," Nutter said, dubbing himself "cheerleader and chief."
Main traveling routes, including Roosevelt Boulevard, Interstate 95 and all bridges except the Ben Franklin Bridge, will remain open during the visit, he said.
While public schools will be closed Sept. 23 through 25, recreation centers, parks and city health centers outside of the Francis Festival Grounds will be open, he said.
There will be no trash collection citywide Friday Sept. 25 and Monday Sept. 28 to allow sanitation crews to help clean the Ben Franklin Parkway, Nutter said.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said days off in his department have been canceled, and all officers will work 12-hour shifts beginning at 12 a.m. Sept. 25. There will be more officers assigned to night shifts as well, he said.
"We're very much aware of the fact that the remainder of the city is still active and out there, and we will have adequate coverage outside of the festival grounds," Ramsey said.
Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said the number of medic units in service during the pope's visit will be increased from 50 to 60 and two additional engine and ladder trucks will be put into service.
Those who live near the festival grounds with questions about parking are asked to call the Philadelphia Parking Authority, 215-222-9100.