According to Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland, three library assistants at the Free Library of Philadelphia have embezzled over $9,000 in overdue book fines. Today, the city announced that Natalie Collins of the Haddington branch, Linda Robinson of the Kingsessing branch and Patricia Finley of the Wyoming branch allegedly embezzled the funds between May 2009 and November 2010. The library is firing all three. One manager will be suspended and another demoted.
“Stealing overdue book fines from the Free Library is a sad commentary on public service gone awry, but rest assured, the Office of Inspector General will investigate cases like this and any others brought to our attention,” said Kurland today in a statement. “This Administration is committed to honest, transparent government, and while the vast majority of employees are hard-working, committed public servants, our message to wrong-doers is ‘watch out, we’re coming for you.’ This case also underlines the importance of effective supervisory oversight as a bulwark against fraud and corruption. Managers will be held accountable when they fail to uphold the public trust.”
No criminal charges have been filed at this time.