Wednesday, September 20, 2017

America's Worst Humans

The Philadelphia DA's office.

While the DA liquidates many of the assets it seizes, other records obtained by City & State PA and Philly Weekly reveal the DA has long been loaning out forfeited cars to its office personnel. Cars – not unlike Geiger’s seized Buick – are routinely doled out to top deputies for work use, as take-home cars and, in one case, even as a plaything for the district attorney himself. These perks are in addition to those that staff already enjoy, like assigned downtown parking spots, free gas and repair work – all courtesy of Philadelphia taxpayers.

Yet even this unprecedented disclosure appears to represent only a fraction of the city’s civil asset forfeiture proceeds. In reports submitted annually to the Pennsylvania attorney general, the DAO previously claimed to have spent between $2 and $7 million in forfeiture funds each year – at least $5 million more than shown in the budget documents delivered to City&State PA and Philly Weekly. Officials declined to explain the multimillion-dollar discrepancy, despite multiple requests for comment.