City Screws Up Royally by Not Firing Attorney Involved in Trump Graffiti

Fiorillo: But when your mom works for an organization whose board includes such luminaries as Mayor Kenney, Ed Rendell, and Meryl Levitz, well, maybe the rules are just a little bit different.

Courtesy of Philadelphia Police

Courtesy of Philadelphia Police

The people that I work for tell me that they’re really happy with my job performance. I get good reviews. They’re flexible with my often volatile schedule. In short, they treat me real nice. But I’m pretty sure that if I were caught on surveillance video snapping photos while someone accompanying me sprayed anti-Donald Trump graffiti on someone else’s property, they’d fire me in a heartbeat. Not the case with Duncan Lloyd, who is getting to keep his job.

The 32-year-old city attorney was strolling down Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill in late November with someone who decided to spray-paint “FUCK TRUMP” on the wall of a grocery store called Fresh Market. Lloyd, decked out in a blue blazer and what appears to be an ascot — and holding a wine glass, no less — dutifully captured the artistic output on his cell-phone camera.

Courtesy of Philadelphia Police

Courtesy of Philadelphia Police

It didn’t take long for the surveillance video to get out and for Lloyd’s identity to be revealed. He quickly turned himself in, but he was never placed under arrest, and no charges were ever filed against him.

When Lloyd’s name was made public, Mayor Jim Kenney said that the graffiti was “certainly hateful and inappropriate and unacceptable” and that the city was looking into the matter.

Well, less than two weeks after Kenney said that, the city has decided to let the Germantown Friends, University of Pennsylvania, and Temple Law School graduate keep his $63,000-a-year gig. The city has wrist-slapped Lloyd with two weeks of unpaid leave, and he’ll also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

And what a dumb decision that is.

No, Lloyd didn’t commit the vandalism himself, and we still don’t know the name of the person who did. But it certainly doesn’t appear that Lloyd did anything to stop it. Instead, he and his ascot stood by and documented the whole damn thing.

Lloyd isn’t just a city employee. He’s an attorney. An officer of the court. He clearly knows better, and he should be held to a higher standard. But that’s not what’s happening.

Add to this the fact that the graffiti was anti-Trump graffiti and that Lloyd works for a Democratic administration — the optics are just terrible.

So why on earth would Lloyd not be sent packing? This would seem to be an easy decision.

If he were fired, Republicans would have some sense of satisfaction that the city did the right thing. Instead, they’ve now got more anti-liberal ammunition.

And I think that most people on the left wouldn’t have been too bothered if Lloyd had been let go. There wouldn’t have been a march on City Hall to demand reinstatement. No petition. He screwed up in a big way, embarrassing the city during a time when the nation couldn’t be more divided. And, quite simply, what he did was wrong. There’s no defense for it.

So what gives?

Maybe Lloyd is just the best attorney that the city has ever seen. Or maybe Mayor Kenney is just the most forgiving, everybody-deserves-a-second-chance guy around.

Or maybe — just maybe — it’s all about who you know.

It turns out that Lloyd’s mother is Sandra Lloyd, the historian for Historic Philadelphia, the organization that runs Franklin Square, the Betsy Ross House, and Once Upon a Nation. Her name has come up in local media outlets like and the Jewish Exponent, and she was profiled by Philly Voice last year.

If Duncan Lloyd needed a get-out-of-jail-free card, his mom didn’t need to go far to find it. The Historic Philadelphia board is a veritable who’s who of Philadelphia power players: city tourism honcho Meryl Levitz. Ed Rendell. Prominent businessman Tom Knox. And, oh yeah, Mayor Kenney.

But Kenney’s office swears that there was no preferential treatment, nepotism, or undue influence at work here.

“The Law Department did not have any contact with any of these individuals or Historic Philadelphia,” says spokesman Mike Dunn. “The decisions regarding Duncan Lloyd were solely internal to the Law Department, other than to have the discipline vetted by Inspector General Kurland. She deemed it commensurate with discipline imposed on other workers in comparable examples.”

Neither Duncan Lloyd nor his mother responded to a request for comment.

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