DROP leads to lawsuits in bids for re-election

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco and City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione found themselves on the receiving end of nominating-petition challenges as yesterday’s deadline to contest candidacies approached.

In both cases, and that of City Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr., enrollment in the controversial DROP program with its irrevocable commitment to retire is cited as a reason to keep them off the ballot. Neither Tasco nor Tartaglione responded to requests for comment, but an attorney representing Rizzo said that challenges are meritless.

“What someone calls taking advantage of a loophole is someone else’s legal right,” said Chris Warren, one of Rizzo’s attorneys who stated “there isn’t a blessed thing” in the election code or city charter supporting it. “If you have a problem with what the councilman is doing, that’s an issue for the voters, not the courts.”

Tartaglione already collected a $308,625 lump-sum payment and Tasco will collect $478,057.

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