Philadelphia, April 29 2009 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Inspector General Amy Kurland, and United States Attorney Laurie Magid and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk announced the filing of charges in two cases stemming from investigations by the Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland’s office. These are the first cases to arise out of a new partnership between the Inspector General’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office, and the FBI to aggressively crackdown on wrong-doing by City workers and those who misuse City funds. These offices will work in coordination with the Inspector General’s Office investigating possible incidents of corruption and then handing the case over to the US Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
“The City can literally no longer afford corruption. We need every last tax dollar to be pay for City services,” said Mayor Nutter. “I applaud the teamwork of Inspector General Kurland and US Attorney Magid to investigate and prosecute anyone abusing taxpayer dollars.”
“These cases are only the first in a new partnership between my Office and the US Attorney’s Office,” said Inspector General Kurland. “Together, we will aggressively pursue and prosecute criminal wrongdoing by City employees and those who receive City money. Any hint of government corruption or fraud will be taken very, very seriously.”
The charges in both cases announced today allege that the Federal and Local governments, and taxpayers, were defrauded by city employees.
Brenda Wilkins, 62, of Philadelphia, was a real estate specialist with the Philadelphia Housing and Development Corporation when she allegedly arranged for her daughter to obtain a PHDC house for one dollar. She is being charged with theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, witness tampering, and making false statements.
Dorena Kearney, 52, of Lindenwold, NJ, is charged with misappropriating $138,000 in government funds for personal expenses, such as a vacation cruise and dog grooming, while working as the Executive Director of “Colours”, a nonprofit organization.
“Municipal corruption, in any amount, and by any public servant, erodes the important trust relationship between citizens and their government,” said US Attorney Magid. “Mayor Nutter has made ethics a priority and has embraced the experience that federal prosecutors bring to this effort.”