Philly Streets commissioner on leave after alleged assault

A top city official is on leave after he was charged with assault for an incident at a house party five months ago.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has charged Donald Carlton, 45, commissioner of the Streets Department, with simple assault and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

Carlton, of the 900 block of East Dyre Street, was arrested Friday for a December 6 scuffle at a house party on the 6000 block of American Street, near the Fern Rock Transportation Center, said Cameron Kline, spokesman for the DA’s office.

Carlton allegedly punched another person in the face multiple times, who suffered a bruised eye and fractured rib, according to Kline.

“Carlton and the 50-year-old male complainant were involved in a verbal argument that resulted in physical altercation,” a police report on the incident stated. “The complainant sought medical attention for injuries to his eye and ribs; he was treated and released.”

No further details about what prompted the fight, or why there was a five month delay between the incident and the arrest, were immediately available.

Kline said an affidavit on the incident from police was received by the DA’s office on April 8.

“Donald Carlton is on a leave of absence until further notice. Deputy Commissioner Mike Carroll will serve as Acting Commissioner effective immediately,” said Lauren Hitt, spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney.

She declined to comment on the cause of the fight or gap in time between the incident and the arrest, citing an ongoing investigation.

Court records show Carlton was arraigned at 9:42 p.m. on Friday.

Kenney announced he had tapped Carlton to lead the Streets Departmenton Nov. 25.
Carlton is free after posting $2,500 bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for June 7.