I was in City Hall the other day reading over the ethics disclosures of various candidates for public office in this May's Primary Election. It was a dreary chore, thumbing through mundane one- or two-page filings that listed income and debts, until I came upon the filing of
Street offered up the equivalent of a Russian novel. Thirty-seven pages, including handwritten annotations, reprints of civil suit proceedings, a clip about his conviction for federal tax evasion.
Unlike War and Peace, it did not have a cast of hundreds. It was all about
The man who wants to be our next mayor just got done serving 30 months in prison for a 2008 conviction for evading federal taxes (as in, he never filed returns for several years). He was fined $413,000 for those shenanigans.
But wait, there's more.
Street also owes $383,037 to the city in back taxes. He owes another $105,563 to the state of
In terms of negative wealth, Street is a millionaire. His combined tax liabilities total more than $1 million. The odds of anyone ever seeing that money? Negligible. Street lists his sole source of income as "retired - social security."
It takes hard work to avoid that much in taxes, a persistence that borders on monomania.
During his 2008 trial involving the
Two: After his younger brother, John, became mayor
In other words, success ruined
You may recall those halcyon days. Street getting a plum contract to provide food services at the ice skating rink run by the Penn's Landing Corp. (subject of another law suit by Penn's Landing saying Street failed to pay it money due); Street getting another plum contract at Philadelphia International Airport, where he was put in charge of advising the people who supervised the people who supervised the people who repaired and maintained the luggage belts. The word sinecure comes to mind -- from the Latin words sine (without) cura (care).
Finally, there was creation of Notlim, Inc. (
Notlim, Inc. still exists as a legal entity. Maybe
My guess, though, is that it wasn't his sudden success as a businessman that motivated Street to become a serial tax evader.
It was his highly refined sense of self. His belief that there are two sets of rules in this world: one for us and one for him. And that paying taxes is for chumps. So is paying debts and fees and parking tickets.
For a guy who portrays himself as a man of the people,
Better to live the
You can always run for mayor.
-- Tom Ferrick