The director of the city's veterans advisory commission was fired Tuesday after the District Attorney's Office seized a computer from his office last week, according to U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, head of Philadelphia's Democratic City Committee.
Scott Brown had led the commission since 2014.
"I am surprised," Brady said. "Because, I mean, I deal with him, I deal with him on veterans stuff. We did the … [veterans] fair. It was a week ago. He was pleasant for me to work with, so I am surprised, and I'm concerned."
Brady said he wasn't aware why the District Attorney's Office was looking into the commission.
Brown could not be reached for comment. A spokesman from the District Attorney's Office declined to comment. His dismissal was first reported by the website City & State PA.
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, whose office oversees the commission, issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging Brown was no longer with the office. Clarke said his position had been eliminated as part of a reorganization "in an effort to provide even more responsive and efficient service to Philadelphia-area veterans."
"More details on how the office is being reorganized will be announced shortly," Clarke said, adding that there would be no disruption in services the office provides to the city's veterans.
The commission, which was established in 1957 and received increased funding and staff in 2012, has been under fire in recent months from veterans who say it is shirking its state-mandated responsibility to keep records of where each of the city's deceased veterans is buried. Veterans have also said the office has not effectively helped them apply for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Brown was hired in 2014 with the recommendation of Councilman Mark Squilla. On Wednesday, Squilla said Brown had volunteered to work on veterans issues in his office shortly after he was elected to City Council in 2012. He said when Clarke decided to expand the commission's staff, Brown seemed like a clear candidate for director.
"When they were looking for somebody in the veterans office, knowing he did all the veterans work for me, I think was a natural progression that he applied for that position," Squilla said.
Squilla said he and Brown grew up in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood. He hadn't heard about Brown's firing Wednesday morning and said he was surprised by the news.