Reward Increased for Information on Murder of PHA Employee
PHA Executive Carl Greene (center) hopes the increased reward will also provide increased incentive for someone with information on the murder of Rodney Barnes to come forward.

Mark Durkalec (left) of the Carpenters Union and John Apeldorn (right) of the Citizens Crime Commission stand behind Greene at the news conference.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority, Wachovia Bank, Carpenters Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Hunter Roberts Construction Company and Citizens Crime Commission announced today a substantial increase in the reward offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder of PHA employee Rodney Barnes. The reward has jumped from $10,000 to $53,000.

Mr. Barnes, 46, was shot in the back of the head Saturday afternoon, July 25, in the 2300 block of Norris Street while working on a PHA weatherization and maintenance crew at Raymond Rosen Manor in North Philadelphia. He died on August 5.

PHA Executive Carl Greene hopes the increased reward will also provide increased incentive for someone with information to contact the Citizens Crime Commission.

"To date, there has been no response to either the reward for information or to the family's call for conscience. At the same time, there has been an outpouring of generosity among our corporate and labor partners. As a result, we are able to announce today that the reward fund for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case has grown to $53,000. We are hopeful that someone in the Rosen community who saw the crime occur and will come forward," Greene said.

John Dougherty, business manager for IBEW Local 98 said that his union has often played a role in similar reward funds for members of the Philadelphia Police Department, but that it is a shocking development to have this type of violent crime touch the building trades community.

"Police officers and firefighters go to work each day knowing they may be at risk, but to have this type of crime touch the construction industry is shocking. We want to send the message that we must be able to do our work in safety and that the person who committed this murder must be taken off the streets," Dougherty said.

Dan Dirscherl, Senior Vice President & General Manager for Hunter-Roberts Construction Group said his company felt compelled to contribute to the reward fund.

"We have 90 people working in the field on PHA projects right now. We want to send a clear message to them that we want the person who committed this crime found and removed from the street," Dirscherl said.

Rodney Barnes was a member of the Carpenters Union since 1998 and had begun work as a member of PHA's Maintenance WAVE (weatherization and value enhancement) crew this spring.

Funeral services for Mr. Barnes will take place this weekend.

Anyone with any information about the shooting is encouraged to call 215-546-TIPS (8477). Their identity will be confidential.