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Ethics

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NEWS
March 8, 2010
IT IS DISAPPOINTING to see the city's Board of Ethics undermine its own reputation for solid work by its adoption of the ethical stinkbomb called the DROP program. Evan Meyer, general counsel for the Board of Ethics, signed up for the city's Deferred Retirement Option Plan, which meant that in exchange for agreeing to retire by a certain date, he would get a special payment of some of his pension benefits in a lump sum. Meyer was allowed to take advantage of the program's most unseemly loophole by retiring for a day in order to collect the lump sum, and then getting hired back at his former salary.
NEWS
May 26, 2005
HERE IS our handy Daily News ballot you can take to the polls . . . oops, the primary was last week wasn't it? Today, there is a vote that will have a bigger impact on the city than a new slate of judicial candiates: the vote in City Council on a significant ethics reform bill. This bill changes how no-bid contracts are awarded and may be voted on by Council today. A slew of other ethics bills are currently in committee, and all could be voted on before Council recesses in June.
NEWS
July 8, 1986
In your June 22 article on surrogate mothers, research on embryos (unborn human beings), and related issues, Dr. Michael Birnbaum is quoted as saying, "The ethical questions are always there, but the minute we stop doing something because of ethics, we stop going forward and start going backward. " He seems to be saying that if scientists possess the knowledge and ability to perform a given act, they should do it regardless of the consequences. This is precisely the attitude that disturbs many people, including me. The divorce of ethical considerations from science can only result in the most horrible abuses of human rights.
NEWS
July 30, 1989 | By Chris Conway, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Paul Contillo's home town of Paramus in Bergen County was a boom town during the 1970s, and in the rush to build shopping centers and other developments, Contillo saw some troubling things in municipal government. "We had tremendous pressure on the planning board and the board of adjustment for considerations for developers, and the boards were filled with insurance adjustors and plumbers and people like that," recalled Contillo, then a Paramus councilman and now a Democratic state senator.
NEWS
May 20, 2010
TODAY, WITH ALL eyes fixed on the budget, Council could move to pass a package of "ethics" bills, not all of which are especially ethical. One part of the package, a proposal to require lobbyists to register with the city and disclose their activities, is a good idea. Unfortunately, it's lumped together with another bill that would lift a longstanding ban on political activity by city employees. This would depend on public approval of a charter change that would give Council authority to set political-activity rules by ordinance, rather than seeking voter approval.
NEWS
June 24, 1989 | By ROBERT SCHOLES
We have a problem in this country with what our President might call "the ethics thing. " We have also been made aware in recent years that we have a massive problem in our school systems. Let us call this second problem, just to keep things neat, a matter of "this thinking thing. " The graduates of our schools - even our elite business and professional schools - don't seem to be very good at solving ethical or moral problems. And the graduates of all our schools - but especially our public secondary schools - don't seem to be very good at any kind of thinking.
NEWS
March 5, 1994
There are two kinds of responsibility. There is moral responsibility, powerful and immutable. And legal responsibility, which is negotiable. There are also two kinds of ethics. There are moral ethics, which are grounded solidly, and legal ethics, subject to the kind of interpretation that would make an eastern European figure skating judge blanch. For instance, NBC-TV was morally irresponsible when it put igniters in a truck for a show on General Motors' pickup trucks, which seem to have a disquieting tendency to blow up. It was ethically dubious as well, so NBC fired a bunch of people, fell all over itself apologizing and replaced its news boss.
NEWS
May 14, 1987 | By Katharine Seelye, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Haverford Township Board of Commissioners has pledged to adopt a code of ethics, but has not determined a method or time by which it will do so. Unanimous approval of the intention came Monday night after the board rejected, by the surprisingly close vote of 5-4, a specific code proposed by Commissioner Ben Kapustin. In most cases, a proposal by the board's lone Democrat would have been soundly defeated. Kapustin first offered his code six months ago. In the face of indifference and hostility from other board members, he dropped the plan until two weeks ago, when the proposed code came under heavy criticism.
NEWS
December 21, 2004
I find it absolutely amazing that in a city where corruption is an accepted form of doing business, city workers would question a law that protects the taxpayer from possible nepotism. If Councilman David Cohen's daughter is incapable of understanding her father's actions and still holds a grudge after 20 years, I think there must be other problems in the relationship. I'm also amazed by Councilman Rick Mariano successfully lobbying for a job for his son. Mariano was angry that his family members couldn't apply for a job with the city.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 21, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Is it acceptable for an elected municipal official to vote in favor of giving his wife a paid position in their township? What if the same official, also the town's deputy fire chief, votes to hire firefighters who report to him? The New Jersey agency that reviews ethics violations investigated those questions and quietly fined Mansfield Township Committeeman Sean Gable $100 last year - three years after receiving a complaint. He was among seven municipal officials across the state fined for conflict-of-interest infractions during the last year.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
CITY COMMISSIONERS Chairman Anthony Clark has agreed to pay $4,000 in fines for ethics violations in connection with a pay raise given to his brother, who works in Clark's office. Clark, 55, who heads a three-person panel that oversees elections in the city and earns about $134,000 a year, also agreed to take ethics training to brush up on the city's Ethics Code. The concessions were part of a settlement agreement reached with the city Board of Ethics and made public yesterday.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Commissioners Chairman Anthony Clark has agreed to pay $4,000 in fines for ethics violations in connection with efforts to secure a raise for his brother, a commissioners' employee. Clark, in a settlement reached with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, agreed that he failed to properly notify the city of his ability to affect his brother's pay, remove himself from discussions involving that pay, and cooperate with an investigation into his actions. That last charge was evidenced by an implied threat Clark made to the commissioners' budget officer when he learned she was to talk to investigators in the case.
NEWS
June 11, 2015 | Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
As pay raises go, it was both big and small. A 15.4 percent bump is nice. But it only added up to $4,704 per year. That raise put just $268.66 more in the pocket of Alex Clark, a trades helper at the Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners, before it was rescinded 12 days later in October 2013. But that small chunk of change may add up to big trouble for his brother - and boss - Commissioners Chairman Anthony Clark. The executive director of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics in January accused Clark of pushing for his brother's raise and then threatening the commissioners' budget officer for cooperating with an investigation.
NEWS
May 10, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia's Board of Ethics and City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson settled a complaint Friday over $3,900 wrongfully contributed to his reelection campaign. Johnson received the money before he announced his campaign and failed to apply campaign contribution limits to it when he directed the money to his reelection bid, the board said. In the settlement, Johnson agreed to transfer that money out of his campaign coffers, and pay a $1,000 fine for other misstatements and omissions in his finance reports.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THE PHILADELPHIA Board of Ethics yesterday fined Deborah Watson-Stokes, who's running for judge, $300 for sending out a fundraising flier and planning her retirement party as a fundraiser before she'd officially quit working for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Watson-Stokes worked for the D.A.'s office from September 1990 until Feb. 6, according to the ethics board. In January, she told her colleagues there that she planned to resign and run for judge in Municipal Court and Common Pleas Court - and that her retirement party would be a fundraiser, according to the ethics board.
SPORTS
April 18, 2015 | By Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joel Embiid arguably could be one of the most gifted athletes to don a 76ers uniform. He's a 7-footer who dunks with ease off between-the-legs moves. He's a once-in-a-generation athlete for his size. He has the natural talent to develop into one of the NBA's best players. But he'll need a good work ethic combined with an ability to stay healthy to turn that potential into results on the court. "There were times that I wasn't happy," coach Brett Brown said Thursday of Embiid's lack of diligence.
NEWS
April 13, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - When the relationship between Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and campaign donor Salomon Melgen first made headlines, the senator admitted he goofed. He conceded he had not paid for or properly reported four flights (two round-trips) on Melgen's private jet and wrote a check to belatedly comply with Senate ethics rules. A year later, his campaign reimbursed Melgen for a third trip. Both times Menendez aides assured reporters that these were oversights and that the senator's travel had been thoroughly reviewed.
SPORTS
April 12, 2015 | BY JEFF NEIBURG, For the Daily News
WATCH DANNY Garcia train in the ring at his DSG gym in Juniata Park, and you're likely to fixate on the mural in the background. In beautiful red, white and blue, the colors of the Puerto Rico flag, Garcia is pictured among some of boxing's greatest Puerto Rican fighters, such as Hector Camacho, Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. Garcia (29-0, 17 knockouts), who fights Washington, D.C.'s Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) tonight at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, wanted to pay tribute to his heritage.
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