QUESTION THE PARKING AUTHORITY: Guv Orders Audit Of ‘Skyrocketing Costs’ & ‘Excessive Salaries’

Gov. Rendell yesterday urged City Controller Alan Butkovitz to immediately begin a comprehensive audit of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

“Recent press accounts of skyrocketing expenses, bloated payrolls, excessive salaries, and parking-garage mismanagement suggest that the internal fiscal and management controls expected by Act 94metermaid2tweaked.jpg are not in place,” Rendell’s letter read, citing the law that gives the state-run agency the power to enforce Philadelphia’s parking regulations. Rendell asked the controller’s office to commence a “fiscal and performance audit” of the agency. Butkovitz said it appeared the governor was looking for a top-to-bottom review of the authority, which he called “an enormous undertaking.”

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Inspector General Seth Williams said his office already had begun a probe of Parking Authority consultant James T. Dintino, who is a member of the Board of Revision of Taxes. Dintino’s $4,000-a-month Parking Authority consulting contract for media-relations work was the subject of an article in The Inquirer on Sunday. Dintino is one of several politically connected communications consultants and lobbyists who have been paid a total of $1.48 million by the authority during the last five years.

Speaking to reporters in Philadelphia yesterday, Rendell mentioned Dintino by name and said it was “stunning” to learn that the authority was spending that kind of cash on consultants. “That money could have been used to help the kids,” Rendell said. MORE

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