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Aide to ex-mayor accused of stealing $20K from Philadelphia

November 13, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A top aide to a former Philadelphia mayor is accused of stealing more than $20,000 in city funds to buy clothing, pay for vacations and take over 500 Uber rides.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday that public corruption charges have been filed against Desiree Peterkin-Bell. She was hired by former Mayor Michael Nutter and served as city representative in 2012, where she oversaw the Mayor’s Fund.

Shapiro says the charges relate to spending while she oversaw the fund. He says the unlawful purchases on two city credit cards funded her “lavish lifestyle” and says she ran the fund as her “own personal fiefdom.”

He says she also misapplied $225,000 in taxpayer money.

Peterkin-Bell’s lawyer Walter Weir tells WHYY-TV she’s innocent.

Shapiro says the investigation concluded Nutter, who was mayor from 2008-2016, was unaware of the wrongdoing.

Nutter says in a statement he’s “greatly saddened and very deeply disappointed” about the allegations.

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