Philly inspector general generates $10M in savings and restitution

Philadelphia Streets Department integrity officer Ray Jackson won the Joan Markman Award.
Photo credit Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's inspector general produced more than $10 million for the city last year by taking action against employees caught in ethics breaches, and one Streets Department employee won an award Wednesday for his role in keeping the department honest.

Inspector General Amy Kurland's annual report shows 18 employees were fired, 12 suspended or demoted and there were 10 criminal enforcement actions related to ethics breaches by city employees. That led to $4 million in salary and pension savings, $2.5 million in fines and $4 million in restitution. 

"We pay for ourselves many times over," Kurland said. 

The violations ranged from being drunk at work to misusing city cars. Four Streets Department employees were disciplined for taking cash to collect commercial trash. Work on that case was one reason Streets' integrity officer Ray Jackson won the Joan Markman Award. 

Kurland says he's about the busiest of the city's integrity officers. 

"Trash and recycling are picked up every single day, and so we at the inspector general's office get complaints virtually every single day," Kurland said. 

Jackson also helped bust two private companies that were closing sidewalks around construction projects without city permission.