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March 30, 2017

Nutter: Butkovitz 'obsessed' with papal visit 'as if he dislikes the Pope'

Former mayor responds to controller's report on allegedly undocumented purchases

Ding ding ding: Put your gloves back on, boys!

Adding to the long history of a colorful political feud, former Mayor Michael Nutter has fired back at Controller Alan Butkovitz's Wednesday announcement about allegedly questionable credit card purchases made with funds from a city-run nonprofit. 

Butkovitz held a presser to call on The Mayor's Fund — an organization funded mainly by proceeds from the Philadelphia Marathon — to reimburse Philadelphia for more than $240,000 in undocumented purchases made during Nutter's tenure. The announcement came a year after Butkovitz accused Nutter of using the account as a "slush fund."

Predictably, Nutter, more than a year removed from office, didn't stay silent. He fired back with a statement Thursday morning, calling the accusations "completely false and baseless."

"I find perplexing that he alleges there is no information about expenditures, and then purports to give a report with details about the same expenditures made with credit cards, so obviously there is information available," Nutter said.

Nutter also said Butkovitz never asked him about the purchases, which he believes have receipts and were made for "allowable purposes."

But you knew Nutter, who has called Butkovitz a "liar, a snake and a hypocrite," as well as a "hatchet job" who, oh by the way, may have "narcissistic personality disorder," wasn't going to get through any statement on his former foe without a diss.

Sure enough, here it is:

Let's look at one example. The Controller seems obsessed with the Papal preparations and visit which were all well publicized, which he continuously criticized, as if he dislikes the Pope. The entire City knew that some Administration members were traveling to Rome, and the Papal visit was great for Philadelphia.

Holy burn! Nutter, to clarify, is referring to what Butkovitz called in his announcement "questionable expenditures involving hotel rooms and airfare related to the Papal Visit." Among them: the $45,519 trip to Italy.

While he can pat himself on the back for another roast-worthy response, the issue of The Mayor's Fund during his former administration doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

Earlier this month, reported that Desiree Peterkin Bell, who chaired the fund during Nutter's tenure, spent thousands of dollars from the account without documenting it. The fund's former executive director Ashley Del Bianco called for a review into the purchases.

Nutter denied any wrongdoing and expressed "disgust" with Del Bianco.