Alan Butkovitz Loses It, Tries to Get Writer Arrested [Updated]

City Controller Alan Butkovitz, Aviator-style specs in tow, has been on something of a whirlwind tour these days, bashing Michael Nutter and his Actual Value Initiative everywhere he goes. So when a reporter last night went off-message and asked a question unrelated to property tax assessments, Butkovtitz wasn’t happy. Speaking to an LGBT group Liberty City Democrats last night at the William Way Center seeking an endorsement (he’s also campaigning for re-election), Butkovitz was confronted by freelance muckraker Josh Kruger about a corruption claim he’s made before.

Well, why don’t YOU come up here and answer the question,” Butkovitz responded, dramatically flourishing off the stage down the aisle as though he was relinquishing his podium.

Afterwards, Publisher and Editor James Duggan approached Butkovitz to follow up on the question. Here’s what Kruger said took place:

In response, three paunchy goons surrounded Butkovitz and instructed DA Seth Williams’ police detail to arrest Duggan for harassment. Knowing what, exactly, harassment versus freedom of the press is, the officers sanely refused Butkovitz hysterical request.

Updated [3:50 p.m.]: Ceisler Media’s Kirk Dorn, who represents the Controller’s Office, disputed Kruger’s claim that Butkovitz was hysterical, saying it was a “totally controller situation.” As to whether Butkovitz’s “goons” (read: staff) tried to get Duggan arrested, Dorn first told me, “I don’t know anything about that,” before amending his statement to “there’s nothing to that.”

Duggan himself shed a little more light on the situation. After Butkovitz exited the stage, Duggan followed him to an elevator, and then outside the William Way Center down Locust Street, trying to get him to answer Kruger’s question. Duggan said Butkovitz stayed silent, but his staff repeatedly accused him of harassment and asked Williams’s security detail to “do something” about him. Duggan interpreted this to mean they wanted him cited or arrested. Duggan confirmed Kruger’s claim that the DA officers were “great,” and didn’t stop him from asking questions.

[Josh Kruger]