The head of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, embroiled in a sexual harassment controversy, resigned on Wednesday, according to reports.
Executive Director Vincent J.Fenerty Jr., the subject of a 2015 sexual harassment finding, was suspended on Tuesday despite PPA Chair Joseph Ashdale coming to his defense. A recommendation for his termination was expected on Thursday, 6ABC reported.
Fenerty, 60, was accused by a senior director of engaging in “a series of unwanted and repeatedly discouraged sexual advances,” over the course of two years. Fenerty still earned his $223,000 annual salary but was ordered to undergo counseling, lost the authority to hire and fire and was not allowed to attend overnight trips with co-workers unless the board gave permission, as Metro previously reported.
That changed on Tuesday afternoon three hours after the decision to suspend Fenerty was made when an allegation from 2006 that he sexually harassed an employee for three years was uncovered.
“That complaint was not filed with our human resources department,” Ashdale said, Philly.com reported. “It should have been part of the information used in making the decision to permit Mr. Fenerty to remain in his position.”
Taxpayers nearly covered the cost of the$150,000 settlement in 2007, Mike Newell wrote in his column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, but the woman accusing Fenerty turned down the settlement. She preferred to keep her job, from which she was ultimately fired, Newell wrote.
“PPA had no business keeping Mr. Fenerty as executive director after it was clear he had sexually harassed another employee at the agency,” Gov. Tom Wolf’s spokesman Jeff Sheridan said, Philly.com reported on Tuesday. “His actions were unconscionable and he should be immediately dismissed.”