Philadelphia Mayor's Fund gets new oversight

Pat Loeb
November 13, 2018 - 5:52 pm
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

Holli Stephens / KYW Newsradio, file

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Mayor's Fund has been restructured since the former city representative left and her use of the fund credit cards was disclosed. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges against Desiree Peterkin-Bell Tuesday, after a 14-month-long grand jury investigation.

The senior official under former Mayor Michael Nutter, took more than $20,000 from the Mayor's Fund to "fund a lavish lifestyle," he said, including expensive dinners, hotels, travel costs, and vacations. She reportedly used two credit cards dedicated for the fund over a three-year period to pay for her expenditures.

Now, the city representative is no longer the board chairman by default and the fund does not issue credit cards.

RELATED: AG charges former city representative with corruption

Richard Levins, the new board chairman, is a lawyer for Independence Blue Cross who is very involved in his Fishtown neighborhood. He says, unlike the board under Peterkin-Bell, the new board is actively involved in all the spending decisions.

"There is clearly a detailed questioning of everything, including the financial reports that we go over at the board meeting," he told KYW Newsradio. "I can certainly promise that all of these dollars that come into the fund are going to be used and distributed to benefit the city and the residents of the City of Philadelphia."

Levins says the Mayor's Fund books will be open to anyone who wants to see where the grant dollars are going.

*KYW Newsradio's Kristen Johanson contributed to this report.