Philly Mayor Resigns
starts search to fill vacancy after forgery case
Philadelphia Mayor John Drinnon resigned Monday night amid a check
forgery scandal that has already resulted in two arrests and a warrant
issued for another man who may have been complicit in the case.
"We have received the mayor's letter of resignation, and we voted
unanimously to accept it," Alderwoman Lynne Marlow said Monday night
after Philadelphia's City Council meeting.
Drinnon sent a resignation letter via email notifying city council of
his decision a little more than an hour before the scheduled meeting.
"We have not always agreed on all issued (sic), but we have proceeded
with a spirit of cooperation and decorum that is commendable," Drinnon
wrote in the letter about his sometimes tense relationship with city
council. "However, the recent events involving the breach of financial
security has left me in a state of emotional disarray since the
perpetrators of these actions are people who are near and dear to my
Rodney James Vite, 21, Oak Ridge, and Allisandra Chantel Gates, 25,
Lenoir city, were charged with forgery after depositing city checks that
were signed by Drinnon and former City Recorder Rosie Boston.
Loudon County Sheriff's Office has a warrant out for Rustin Lynn Key,
28, of 198 Donald St., Philadelphia.
Key was Boston's boyfriend at the time of the incident, Lt. Patrick
Upton said, noting once Key is located, Drinnon will be interviewed by
the Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.
"We've got one guy we're still looking for (Key), and you probably can
guess the other person that we're probably going to have to talk to
again. You just mentioned his name," Upton said about Drinnon. "So, it
probably won't make it to this grand jury. It'll probably be the next
Drinnon could not be reached for comment on his cell phone Tuesday
Vite and Gates admitted to taking part in the forgery, and their case
has been waived to a grand jury, Upton said. A court date has not yet
been set. Both posted bond.
Philadelphia City Council previously voted to release Boston from her
position as city recorder and elected Philadelphia resident Traci
Russell to the post.
Drinnon, who is pastor at Word of Faith Church in Loudon, said in his
letter that during 20 years of ministry he has welcomed people he
described as "misfits, miscreants, addicts" and outcasts.
"Some I have been able to help and point in a direction that would
provide them with a peaceful, civil and socially responsible life,"
Drinnon wrote. "Others I have failed and lost to the clutches of
depravity. But, my heart is to never give up on anyone, no matte how
desperate their situation may be. And it is for that reason that the
recent events involving the stolen City checks occurred."
Philadelphia Vice Mayor Chris Miller will take on mayoral
responsibilities going forward, and the city will start a search to fill
Miller's vacant alderman seat, Marlow said.
The city plans to make a offer to Jimmy Russell to fill the vacant spot.
Russell was narrowly defeated by Drinnon during the last mayoral
election. If Russell declines, the post will be offered to Laura
Standridge, who tied with Marlow for her city council seat. Marlow was
subsequently named to the board to break the tie. If Russell and
Standridge decline, the city plans to post a notice in the newspaper
seeking nominations. City council will take up a vote to fill the seat
once an individual is named.
Marlow said she was not surprised by Drinnon's resignation. "We were
expecting it," she said. "He hasn't shown up for the last couple
Upton said police have some information about Key's possible whereabouts
but have yet to bring him into custody.
"We've got some leads that we've been checking on, but nothing's panned
out," Upton said. "We've got some information about some of his habits,
where he's been going and stuff but just ain't caught him. He's pretty
much one of the major persons we want to interview."
Upton did not provide further details on why police were planning an
additional interview with Drinnon but said he was not above suspicion in
"Is he eliminated? Absolutely not," Upton said.