The executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
The PPA confirmed with NBC10 Vince Fenerty, 60, stepped down Wednesday and they accepted his resignation.
Fenerty was suspended Tuesday by PPA board chairman Joe Ashdale after two women came forward and accused him of sexually harassing them. The board decided to reverse its initial decision to stand by Fenerty after the second woman reportedly said she had been sexually harassed by him.
"We understand that some disagree with our decision and nothing short of termination would suffice," PPA Board Chairman Joseph T. Ashdale told a room full of reporters and a handful of frustrated members of the public early Tuesday. His statement indicated the PPA board and its counsel learned of the previously reported sexual harassment claims on the same day in June 2015 as the HR department."
Addressing reports that independent investigators concluded Fenerty sexually harassed one of his employees, Ashdale continued his statement saying, "We weighed all the facts available to us at that time. We were confident that we reached the correct decision 15 months ago and I remain just as certain today."
Only a few hours later, however, the board changed course and suspended Fenerty with the intent to dismiss after a second woman provided the Philadelphia Inquirer with "documentation showing that the parking authority offered her $150,000 to settle her complaint. She turned the money down."
"Earlier today, I made a statement regarding the recent disclosure of a sexual harassment claim made against Executive Director Vince Fenerty. After that meeting, it was brought to our attention that a prior claim from 2006 was made alleging inappropriate conduct with another employee," Ashdale said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. "That complaint was not filed with our human resources department. It should have been part of the information used in making the decision to permit Mr. Fenerty to remain in his position."
The Inquirer's latest report – referencing documents filed in 2007 – indicates the woman brought her claims against Fenerty to the authority shortly after the alleged inappropriate conduct occurred.
Councilman Al Taubenberger, a PPA board member who did not attend the Tuesday morning meeting, characterized Fenerty's behavior last week as a "high-school puppy-love situation." But on Tuesday afternoon, similar to the board, the Republican City Councilman had a drastic change of heart.
"I am stunned and appalled by this new revelation of an additional sexual harassment incident involving Fenerty. Chairman Ashdale was right in suspending Fenerty with the intent to dismiss," Taubenberger said in a statement. "I will be calling in Thursday from Germany to vote for Fenerty's termination. Had I known about this earlier incident, I never would have voted to retain him. His actions are abhorrent and he needs to go."