Pa. Auditor General to Investigate Embattled PPA Director’s “Excessive” Payout

Former PPA director Vince Fenerty resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment.

L: Auditor General Eugene Depasquale | R: Former PPA Director Vince Fenerty

L: Auditor General Eugene Depasquale | R: Former PPA Director Vince Fenerty

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he will investigate what he called an “excessive” six-figure payout for the former head of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, who resigned last year after reporters revealed he had been accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment.

The Inquirer revealed in September that former PPA director Vince Fenerty was the subject of allegations of sexual harassment from two female employees, first in 2006 and later in 2015. The PPA board sanctioned Fenerty and made him foot $30,000 to cover an internal investigation into the 2015 complaint, which concluded that Fenerty had “abused his power” but allowed him to keep his job and $230,000 annual paycheck.

Some board members claimed they had forgotten about the accusations from 2006, though the PPA had offered the woman who made that complaint a $150,000 settlement, according to Inquirer columnist Mike Newall.

Fenerty resigned shortly after both accusations were brought to light, but he collected $227,000 in unused administrative leave, vacation time, sick time, and comp time, the Inquirer reported on Wednesday. Fenerty also collects a $158,628 pension, the highest pension in the city’s retirement system.

In a statement issued yesterday, DePasquale called the payout “egregious, excessive and inappropriate for any government entity.”

“My current audits of the Philadelphia Parking Authority will cover the payout issue, and much more, as we are digging deep into the authority’s policies and procedures and its compliance with those requirements,” DePasquale said in a statement.

DePasquale first announced that his office would investigate the PPA’s employment policies and procedures, including those related to sexual harassment, in October.

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