Money-Saving Consultants Have Cost SEPTA $2.8 Million, Invoices Show

Looking for ways to save money, SEPTA has paid about $2.8 million to a Boston-based consulting firm, including payments of more than $500 an hour to some specialists.

In the process, FTI Consulting Inc. has used 24 of its staffers, some of whom have collected more from SEPTA than the transit agency’s highest-paid official, general manager Joseph Casey, who makes $273,000 a year.

The meter is still running, with additional payments expected to continue through the end of the year.

SEPTA hired FTI in February 2013 through a no-bid contract to help the transit agency reduce legal costs arising from injury claims.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20150423_Money-saving_consultants_have_cost_SEPTA__2_8_million__invoices_show.html#pWCMMI87sB0IAZoX.99

Keeping Lid On Lawsuits Carries Big Price Tag For Reading

Reading has been busy in court the last few years, but its track record has been pretty good.

It has resolved 139 suits brought against it since 2004, with no payout to plaintiffs in two-thirds of them. The cost for its attorneys was more than $1 million.

At the moment, the city has more than 70 cases under way in county, state and federal courts, or in agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

“It’s tough keeping track (of the cases), but the attorneys handling them do a good job of it, and keep me in the loop,” said Charles D. Younger, city solicitor since 2000.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=446351

Businesses Worry Over Scranton’s Deepening Financial Crisis

Between sips of soda at Sal’s Pizza on Linden Street, Nick Noll recounted his time as a Scranton business owner.

His business, Keystone Granite and Marble, was on Diamond Avenue in Scranton but moved to Old Forge earlier this year as he saw deepening financial problems and grew tired of the business privilege tax.

“As soon as I moved to Old Forge I felt like I received a raise,” Mr. Noll said. “It no longer became a question of whether or not I should pay my taxes or take my family on vacation.”

Mr. Noll said the increase in the gross receipts tax proposed in the city’s revised recovery plan from 0.75 percent to 1 percent is “counterproductive” to bringing business back into the city.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/businesses-worry-over-deepening-financial-crisis-1.1354898