Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Donald Carlton was arrested Friday for allegedly punching an unidentified man "multiple times in the face" at a house party in Olney last December, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Philadelphia police said that about 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Carlton and a 50-year-old man had an argument inside a house on the 6000 block of North American Street. The argument escalated to a fight, police said.
The victim, who was not identified, suffered a fractured rib and a bruised eye, District Attorney's Office spokesman Cameron Kline said. Kline said he did not know what prompted the fight, or why charges came five months after it.
Carlton, 45, was charged with simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, both misdemeanors. He was released Friday after posting $2,500 bail, according to court documents.
Mayor Kenney placed Carlton on unpaid leave "until further notice," said Lauren Hitt, the mayor's spokeswoman. Deputy Commissioner Mike Carroll will serve as acting commissioner while Carlton is on leave, Hitt said. Carlton was paid $150,000 as commissioner.
Kenney declined to comment when asked about Carlton on Monday. Hitt said Kenney first learned of the criminal matter Thursday evening.
Carlton has worked for the Streets Department for more than 23 years, starting as a trash collector and rising through the ranks. He took over the department in January when then-Commissioner David Perri became head of the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Carlton previously was a deputy streets commissioner overseeing the sanitation department.
At the time Carlton's appointment was announced in late November, Kenney called him a "wonderful Philadelphia success story."
A man who answered Carlton's cellphone Monday afternoon said Carlton was not available for comment.
In May 2015, the city filed a lien of $498.48 against a property Carlton owns in Strawberry Mansion, citing unpaid real estate taxes.
Carlton, who lives in the Northwood section of Frankford, paid that lien on Dec. 22.
In 2011, court records show, Carlton filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a designation that allows people in debt but with steady income to develop a court-approved repayment plan. Carlton claimed $190,200 in assets against $344,144 in liabilities, according to court papers. About a third of his debts appeared to come from two mortgages he took on his Northwood home, which is valued at $155,800.
In August 2012, the case was dismissed because his repayment plan did "not appear to be feasible," court papers said. Typically when Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases are dismissed, creditors can take action to collect the money they are owed.
Carlton's first court appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 7 at the Criminal Justice Center.
Staff writer Tricia L. Nadolny contributed to this report.