PPA under fire for patronage

April 18, 2008 11:22:37 AM PDT
The Philadelphia Parking Authority has an army of proudly ruthless officers ready to slap tickets on double-parked cars. The PPA also has its own reality show on cable's A&E network, "Parking Wars." But a growing number of critics say the PPA is shortchanging the city's long-struggling schools.

The parking authority, once controlled by city Democrats, was taken over by the state in 2001. That was engineered by Republicans in Harrisburg who pledged to sweep away PPA's reputation of scandal and mismanagement and provide a funding source for city schools.

Under a 2004 compromise, the PPA, which is run by a seven-member board, would send its first $25 million in profits to the city and any amount beyond that to the schools. But the authority has made only one payment to the school district - $4 million in 2004.

Two audits of the PPA are under way on both sides of the political aisle.