Delaware County's fiscal watchdog has sharpened its teeth with a new fraud-detection tool, one that puts the county on par with its peers in the region.

County Controller and Ballard Spahr Partner Joanne Phillips, a Democrat who took office after last November's historic election in the GOP-dominated county, officially launched an anonymous hotline last week for both employees and residents to submit tips about misuse of county resources. It's something the real-estate lawyer has been adamant about during her short tenure, and it served as an integral part of her speeches on the campaign trail.

"I think that there's a definite move toward transparency and bringing a new eye to county government," Phillips said, referring to Councilmen Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden, the first Democrats to win a countywide election. "I think that's a good thing, and I think people are on board."

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