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Nutter lands jobs, snubs critics

The former Philly mayor landed a teaching gig at Columbia University, and defended criticism of his new advisory position with the Department of Homeland…

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Michael Nutter landed his first paying gig since leaving City Hall: a faculty position at Columbia University, where he'll start teaching at the School of International and Public Affairs this semester. The announcement was made Wednesday morning.

The school’s Dean Merit E. Janow lauded Nutter’s “national reputation as a leader in urban public policy — addressing key challenges in economic development, public safety, environmental innovation and many others.  I know we will all benefit from his insights and experience.”

Nutter himself took a bow on social media.

It technically wasn’t Nutter’s first post-mayoral gig, though.

By now you’ve probably heard of the former mayor’s appointment last week to the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), where he will advise DHS director Jeh Johnson on public safety, counterterrorism, and cyber security.

When the news broke, critics speculated that the appointment was payback for Nutter’s reversal of a controversial immigration policy.

In the lame duck days of his eight-year tenure, Nutter revised one of his executive orders that effectively made Philadelphia a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants. He replaced it with something similar to DHS’s 14-month-old Priority Enforcement Program, allowing federal agents to detain certain undocumented offenders being held in the city's custody.

Johnson lauded the move immediately; immigration activists were outraged.

The DHS advisory position is unpaid, but it may, as Inquirer reporter Michael Matza noted, provide Nutter with access to elite circles in Washington.

Nutter rebuffed accusations of any such quid pro quo appointment in an interview with the Inquirer published Wednesday.

"I didn't get anything," he told the Inqy, "and I don't do things that way. Obviously, it's an insult to the way that we conducted our business. . . . I was asked to do something on public safety on behalf of our nation. These are issues I care passionately about."

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