At-Large Candidate Lazin Calls Out Rizzo in City Hall (Updated)
Republican City Council At-Large candidate Malcolm Lazin met with reporters outside Councilman Frank Rizzo’s City Hall office today, calling on the current Republican Councilman – who’s gotten no love from establishment Republicans this year, whatsoever – to turn over his original DROP application and “all supporting documentation.”
“These documents will indicate whether or not he knew in his application that it was for retirement,” Lazin said, “and whether there is now some basis to consider whether he engaged in a false or fraudulent statement.”
Under DROP, Lazin said, employees are required to state they’ll retire from city employment. Councilman Frank “Spawn of Frank Rizzo” Rizzo recently had his eligibility to appear on the May 17 ballot challenged by GOP ward leader Matt Wolfe, which failed. Wolfe is currently appealing the ruling.
Lazin acknowledged he made a formal public records request for the forms on Friday. They’re currently referring his request to council and awaiting a response. “Clearly I’m concerned because our pension fund is underwater by $4.9 million dollars,” he said. “Over the past two years Councilman Rizzo has voted for budgets that underfunded that pension plan by $235 million.”
Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum, also stated Rizzo has put himself ahead of other city workers for which DROP was originally intended and has suffered because of it. “He’s the first major incumbent city councilperson in over 100 years who hasn’t been endorsed by the Republican City Committee. He was soundly denounced last week and did not receive the endorsement of the [Fraternal Order of Police].” Rizzo has been supported by the FOP Lodge 5 his entire career, until their universal rebuke earlier this month. (Lazin did not receive the FOP’s endorsement, either.)
Philly Clout revealed last week that although Frank Rizzo has been under pressure to retire this year, his approval rating stands at 57 percent in the city.
As per Philly Clout, Rizzo has responded with a letter back to Lazin.
“As you undoubtedly know, what you have requested has always been available from the Board of Pensions and Retirement. Please let me know if you have any difficulty getting what you’re seeking from the board. It’s campaign season and political theater is entertaining. However there are serious issues. Access to the Board of Pension and Retirement’s records is not one of them.”