SEPTA today announced that Denise S. Wolf, former Assistant U.S. Attorney, has been appointed as the agency’s Inspector General. Wolf will report to both SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. and CEO/General Manager Leslie S. Richards. She succeeds D. James Bannan, who is retiring. Wolf is tasked with promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness at SEPTA, as well as preventing and detecting waste, fraud, and abuse. Her office will oversee both Audits and Investigations at SEPTA.
Most recently, Wolf was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and served as the Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. During her tenure in the Criminal Division, she prosecuted a wide variety of crimes, specializing in white collar and economic fraud, civil rights, and public corruption.
Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Wolf was a litigation associate at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP. She served as an Assistant City Solicitor in the Civil Rights Unit in the Philadelphia Law Department, and as a law clerk to the late Honorable Lowell A. Reed, U.S. District Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
A seasoned trial attorney with experience prosecuting corruption, economic crimes, violent crimes, and defending the City of Philadelphia and police officers in civil rights cases, Wolf has served as lead counsel on more than 25 federal jury trials.
Board Chairman Deon called SEPTA a “public trust” and noted that Wolf’s background will give funders and the public confidence in SEPTA’s use of their money.
“Given her impressive career in rooting out fraud and corruption, Denise shares our commitment to ensuring SEPTA and everyone at the authority operates effectively and at the highest ethical standards,” said CEO/General Manager Richards.
Wolf is a summa cum laude graduate of the Washington College of Law at the American University, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She also served as President of the Germantown Jewish Centre, located in Mt. Airy, and is the mother of three sons.
Deon lauded Bannan, who served as the Authority’s Inspector General for nearly 11 years, for his “numerous accomplishments and the sincere respect he garnered, not only from his team, but from outside law enforcement agencies.” Bannan came to SEPTA after 20 years with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
“His vast federal law enforcement experience coupled with his dedication to SEPTA led to some of the most significant investigations in SEPTA’s history,” Deon said.