Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PEL Circulates a Petition for a State Attorney General Investigation into the Sheriff's Office

Background (Preamble):
The Office of the Sheriff for the City and County of Philadelphia, an elected office, has been held by John Green (D) since 1987. On December 31, 2010, Sheriff Green retired with a year left in his term, shortly after a civil audit was announced by the Philadelphia City Controller's office regarding the misappropriation of $53,000,000.00 in revenue from "Sheriff's Sales" of foreclosed or tax lien properties throughout the city. This probe resulted in a three-month moratorium in all Sheriff's Sales ordered bu Court of Common Pleas Judge Dembe.

In addition, Sheriff Green made national news in 2008 when he refused to hold a court-ordered foreclosure auctions in response to the "Forclosure Crisis" in dereliction of the Philadelphia Sheriff's sworn duty to enforce legal contracts.

Currently, the Sheriff's Office does not have adequate deployment for field operations, to include all aspects of civil law enforcement (Property and Income Executions, Order of Attachment, Order of Seizure, Public Tax/Debt Collection, Bail Enforcement, Warrant Execution, Process Service et. al.).

It is the petitioners' accusation that the Green Administration's failure to collect funds owed to the city and lien holders therein was a political tactic to counter favor among his voting base which contributed to the current municipal budget crisis. Furthermore, the petitioners assert that poor fiscal management, accounting, bookkeeping, and the misappropriation of over $53,000,000 under review by the Controller's Office is a direct result of waste, fraud, abuse, and possible theft by senior ranking members of the Sheriff's Office under the Green Administration.

We therefore respectfully request that the State Attorney General initiate an investigation into these allegations forthwith.
As Philadelphia is currently facing a monumental budget crisis, the petitioners are asking for State Oversight and Investigation into the aforementioned allegations to bring the Green Administration to justice, locate and return missing/stolen funds, and require the Office of Sheriff to enforce civil law and execute field civil law enforcement and collection operations consistent with similar Sheriff's Offices throughout the Commonwealth and the Nation in order to hold citizens equally accountable for state and municipal taxation.
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