In his role as chief fiscal watchdog, City Controller Alan Butkovitz has been both aggressive and responsible in exposing waste, fraud and mismanagement in government, which is why the Philadelphia Tribune endorses Butkovitz for re-election to a third-term as City Controller.
Since his election as City Controller in 2005, Butkovitz has led numerous tough, responsible, accurate and extensive investigations which include:
• An investigation that resulted in the first disqualification of a contractor for cheating minority contractors
• Audit of the city’s Minority Business Enterprise Council (MBEC) which found MBEC had failed in its mission to remove barriers to minority participation in city contracts
• Audit of the city’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which found EMS units were arriving late forty percent of the time. The controller office made recommendations for the city to recover millions in lost revenues from private insurance carriers.
• Investigation into charter school operations, which uncovered several cases of financial mismanagement, questionable spending practices and other waste fraud and abuse
• A forensic audit of the Philadelphia Sheriff Office that found millions of dollars in questionable financial transactions. The findings led to massive reforms in the Sheriff’s Office and formed the basis for the U.S. Attorney to file criminal charges against employees and others connected to the Sheriff’s Office. The findings also led to the establishment of a multi-million dollar fund to assist homeowners who lost residences through the Sheriff’s Office mismanagement.
• Study of the city’s controversial real estate reform and taxing bill known as Actual Value Initiative, which has raised serious questions in the accuracy and fairness of the process.
The above is only a partial list of extensive investigations that the city controller’s office has done.
As important as the number of investigations the city controller’s office has done, is the thoroughness and overall accuracy. He has not abused the office by making reckless, politicized investigations.
Prior to his election as city controller in 2005, Butkovitz served 15 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. That experience has not hindered Butkovitz from leading an aggressive, independent city controller’s office.
The tough investigations conducted by the city controller’s office counter charges by Butkovitz’s opponents that he is not independent enough of the Democratic Party establishment.
In the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, May 21, Democrats should vote to re-elect Butkovitz as city controller.