Register of Wills Tracey Gordon Sued by Ex-Employee Days Before Primary

Mark Wilson claims he was fired from his job because he wouldn't donate to Gordon's campaign or buy tickets to her events. His former supervisor concurs.

philadelphia register of wills tracey gordon, who is the subject of a lawsuit filed by an ex-employee of her office

Philadelphia Register of Wills Tracey Gordon, who is the subject of a lawsuit filed by an ex-employee of her office (image via the office of the Register of Wills Tracey Gordon/YouTube)

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Philadelphia Register of Wills Tracey Gordon Sued By Ex-Employee Just Days Before Primary

Tracey Gordon’s first term as Philadelphia’s register of wills hasn’t been without controversy.

Earlier this year, she allowed her grown daughter to sell Super Bowl apparel out of her office (as the Inquirer put it, “turning over space in a public building to her daughter’s private company”), with the office’s human resources coordinator emailing employees urging them to make a purchase.

Last year, after telling City Council she felt “harassed” by member Isaiah Thomas, who was questioning her during a virtual Council session, she amusingly forgot to turn off her microphone before she said, “This guy is horrible — fuck him.”

And now, as she prepares to face three challengers in Tuesday’s primary, an ex-employee has filed a federal lawsuit against Gordon and the city, claiming Gordon fired him because he wouldn’t contribute to her campaign or buy tickets to events she organized.

Mark Wilson started working as a register of wills clerk in February 2020, one month after Gordon took office. In 2021, Wilson says he was “heavily pressured” to contribute to Gordon’s reelection campaign and that Gordon “was seeking 100 percent participation from anyone and everyone” in the office, as the suit puts it. Management also pressured employees to buy tickets to parties and events organized by Gordon, Wilson alleges. He refused to make campaign donations or buy tickets to these events and claims that his “supervisory hierarchy” informed him that “Gordon would terminate him if he didn’t contribute and/or buy tickets as directed.” He says the city terminated him in July 2022 without cause and “in very close temporal proximity” to his refusals to contribute.

The lawsuit includes a sworn declaration from Wilson’s supervisor, Thomas Campion, who left the office in August 2022. Campion insists that Wilson and another employee, Nicholas Barone, were both fired because they wouldn’t play ball with requests to contribute to Gordon’s campaign, writing that he is “100% confident” this was the reason for the terminations. (Barone has his own case against Gordon in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court but has yet to file a formal complaint with that court; his lawyer has filed motions to force the city to release records pertaining to his employment and termination.)

“There was continual and immense pressure from all levels of management that there must be 100% participation in contributing and donating to Gordon’s campaign,” Campion writes. “It was almost as if securing donations from all employees [was] a job duty of those working under Gordon.”

Campion continues:

“Gordon personally expressed concerns to me that Wilson and Barone were not contributing, demanding that she wanted 100% participation. Gordon expressed substantial hostility and frustration in my presence that Wilson and Barone were not participating in campaign donations and contributions, even explaining that she gave them full-time employment and benefits and helped them. … She was very upset they were not reciprocating. … ”

The suit accuses Gordon and the city of retaliating against Wilson and seeks unspecified damages.

Gordon didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on this story. Gordon spokesperson Malik Boyd declined to comment on Wilson’s lawsuit, referring us to the city’s legal department, which does not comment on pending litigation. In April, Boyd told the Inquirer he was confident Barone’s lawsuit would be dismissed as unfounded.

Sunday Will Officially Be Crazy

Taylor Swift’s last of three massively sold-out shows at the Linc. The final must-win Sixers playoff game against those Boston bastards. And freaking Mother’s Day on top of all that? I need an Ativan just thinking about it.

NFL Releases Eagles Schedule

And here’s the regular season schedule:

  • Week 1: Sunday, September 10 at New England Patriots
  • Week 2: Thursday, September 14 vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • Week 3: Monday, September 25 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Week 4: Sunday, October 1 vs. Washington Commanders
  • Week 5: Sunday, October 8 at Los Angeles Rams
  • Week 6: Sunday, October 15 at New York Jets
  • Week 7: Sunday, October 22 vs. Miami Dolphins
  • Week 8: Sunday, October 29 at Washington Commanders
  • Week 9: Sunday, November 5 vs. Dallas Cowboys
  • Week 10: Bye Week
  • Week 11 Monday, November 20 at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 12: Sunday, November 26 vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Week 13: Sunday, December 3 vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 14: Sunday, December 10 at Dallas Cowboys
  • Week 15: Sunday, December 17 at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 16: Monday, December 25 vs. New York Giants
  • Week 17: Sunday, December 31 vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 18: Date TBD at New York Giants

Tickets aren’t on sale just yet.

By the Numbers

4: Hours some Taylor Swift fans waited in line outside the Linc on Thursday for the privilege of getting first crack at “viral merch,” most of which can be bought online, as the Inquirer‘s Beatrice Forman points out.

$500,000: Bail set for the woman accused of helping those two escaped inmates, one of whom was just arrested. The office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner asked for bail of $2 million, but the judge apparently thought that a bit steep.

761: Philadelphia police officers expected to retire in the next four years from an already depleted department. As of the end of 2022, we had 5,983 cops on the force. In 2019, that number was 6,590.

18: Political advertisements I’ve received in the mail in the last two days. Make it stop!

And from the Oh-Hell Sports Desk …

For what happened in last night’s Sixers debacle (you couldn’t close it out at home, guys?), go here. The time for the all-decisive Game 7, in (boo!) Boston on Sunday, was still TBD when last I looked.

The Phils have headed west for three games against the Rockies: 8:40 tonight, 8:10 on Saturday, and 3:10 on Mother’s Day.

And the Union play the Colorado Rapids out west as well, on Saturday at 9:30.

Joel. James. Tyrese. Time to go get this. We believe.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.