Mayor Releases Details Of Discount Suits
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Mayor W. Wilson Goode’s closet includes 19 suits he received through a union leader at discounted prices but did not pay for until after the FBI reportedly began investigating union clothing gifts, according to records released by his office.
On Tuesday, the mayor made public letters, invoices and checks detailing how he paid $2,331 for the 19 suits he obtained from local manufacturers between his November 1983 election and last October.
Goode paid an average of $123 a suit, some of which sell for as much as $500.
During the campaign, he added in a statement, he bought five other suits for a total of $450 and ″received no discount.″ He said he paid cash for those suits.
Goode said he sent four other suits back to the manufacturer ″because they were too large for me.″
Last November published stories said the mayor had been questioned in October by the FBI checking gift and cut-rate clothing distributed to politicians by Nicholas DiPero, leader of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union.
It was apparently part of the union’s ″Dress Philadelphia″ campaign, in which the union purchased suits as gifts for influential government officials.
The published reports quoted sources as saying that neither Goode nor any other public official was the subject of the FBI investigation or was suspected of criminal wrongdoing.
The government declined to confirm or deny its investigation, claiming grand jury secrecy.
Suits obtained through DiPero from four manufacturers - Botany 500, Stanley Blacker, Pincus Brothers-Maxell and H. Freeman & Son - cost the mayor up to 83 percent below retail. They were paid for last November and December, according to 45 pages of information released by Goode.
In an interview Nov. 12, Goode said he received ″between six and not more than 10 suits″ through DiPero ″and was billed and, in fact, paid for the suits.″
In the documents released Tuesday, Goode acknowledged he made the first payment Nov. 8 and the final payment Dec. 2.
The payment information was supplied Dec. 31 to the city’s Board of Ethics, which began its own investigation on grounds that gifts to officials of $100 or more must be made public.
In talking to reporters in November, the mayor indicated he did not consider a discount a gift.
″I paid what they charged me for it,″ he said.
But in his letter to the ethics board, the mayor said ″it is clear that this matter was not handled by my office in a prompt, businesslike manner.″
Deputy Mayor John Flaherty Jr. said Goode told him he had been trying to pay for the suits since 1984 but that the manufacturers had failed to send bills as requested.