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Stacks Of Shrink-Wrapped WiFi Equipment Collect Dust In City Warehouse

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  Philadelphia's financial watchdog says tens of thousands of dollars in unused wireless internet hardware is just wasting away inside a city warehouse.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz blames the Nutter Administration for doing nothing to make use of the equipment.
Butkovitz told Eyewitness News that his inspectors made an unannounced trip to a warehouse just a few weeks ago. They took video obtained by Eyewitness News which allegedly shows the equipment unopened.

"I think it just shows the general thoughtlessness with which the city administration has approached technology issues," Butkovitz said.

According a Nutter administration official, Philadelphia received $2 million from the federal government to install wireless networks for police, fire and other city employees for business purposes only.

The official told Eyewitness News that some of the equipment is currently in use around the city and what's left in the warehouse is out-of-date and can't just be thrown out according of federal guidelines.
"You should have a respect for tax money. If you disrespect federal tax money, then eventually you're going to disrespect city tax money," Butkovitz said.
Butkovitz told Eyewitness News that he looks forward to the Jim Kenney administration, one he says will do a better job of making sure equipment doesn't go to waste. "I think Jim Kenney understands going in that it's not his house. It belongs to the taxpayers," Butkovitz said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Mayor-Elect Kenney for comment. He is waiting to speak to Mayor Nutter directly before making an official statement. A Kenney spokeswoman told Eyewitness News if the Butkovitz story is correct, Kenney believes there is no explanation for the unused equipment.


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