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Ethics Violation

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NEWS
August 17, 2010
A prominent member of the city's Planning Commission and Zoning Code Commission has resigned at the request of the Nutter administration for violating the city's ban on political fund-raising by employees and appointees. Natalia Olson Urtecho, a cutting-edge transportation planner, gave up her volunteer posts with the city boards Friday as a result of her involvement in a July fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. The Planning Commission has approval power for developments, while the Zoning Code Commission, of which she was vice chair, is assigned the task for modernizing the city's zoning code.
NEWS
April 15, 1997 | By Stephanie Brenowitz, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Three dissenting school board members came under fire last night for letters they sent out urging residents to vote against the district's proposed $97.5 million budget that goes before voters today. Board member Keith Herman and former board member Kathy Haughwout said they were concerned that the three board members - Valarie Smith, Gail Weisberg and Norman Rosen - had violated the district's ethics code by their action. Herman and Haughwout, referring to and quoting from the ethics code, argued that the guidelines prevent individual board members from promoting personal views on matters "that might compromise the board.
NEWS
January 24, 1996 | By Dominic Sama, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The township's Ethics Board will meet next week to determine whether a commissioner committed a violation by ordering that an announcement of a politically related golf outing be carried on the government-access cable television channel. The golf outing was to have been a fund-raising event for local GOP candidates, but the announcement, called for in September by the Republican commissioner, omitted mention of any political affiliation. Such politically related commercials are prohibited on the government-access channel, which carries messages about such things as township meetings, leaf-pickup schedules and school board news.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two personnel issues - an ethics violation by the chief public defender and the sudden firing of a longtime assistant public defender - have put a Montgomery County office in an unaccustomed spotlight. Chief public defender Keir Bradford-Grey, who holds an appointed position, was disciplined last week after county officials learned she had forwarded to 35 lawyers who work for her an e-mail invitation she had received to a political fund-raiser. The county ethics code for employees prohibits them from politicking in the office.
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.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
During the heyday of congressional earmarks in 2004, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) won a $750,000 grant for the company of Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's husband to tell golf course managers how to have ecologically friendly greens. The grant was approved by Congress but blocked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It became a poster child for bad earmarks. "EPA officials concluded there was nothing new or innovative being proposed by the program," the agency inspector general wrote about Howard A. Brown's Environmental & Sports Inc. "The applicant did not have sufficient expertise to perform the work.
NEWS
January 12, 1991 | By S. A. Paolantonio, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Harrisburg lobbying firm yesterday withdrew its proposed contract to represent Philadelphia after the city Law Department determined that one of the firm's employees would be violating state ethics guidelines by lobbying for the city less than a year after leaving the Goode administration. In a letter to Goode, S.R. Wojdak & Associates said that one of their lobbyists, Ernest G. Barefield, who resigned as Goode's top deputy last year, "would not be able to appear before City Council or any of its committees or members in connection with this assignment.
NEWS
December 23, 1993 | By Laurent Sacharoff, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
From now on, any township official suspected of an ethics violation will have to answer to a higher authority: the State of New Jersey. Last night, the Township Council voted unanimously to abolish the municipal Ethical Standards Board, an action that reinstates the state as the arbiter of ethical issues involving local officials. That had been the arrangement until 1989, when the Delran council decided it would be preferable to have a local ethics board. Ironically, it was the first cases brought before the ethics board last summer that paved the way for its demise.
NEWS
February 16, 1989 | By John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
A state investigation into nepotism on Philadelphia City Council would remain intact under provisions of a new state ethics bill passed overwhelmingly by the House here yesterday. While approving the bill 191-1, the House rejected an amendment offered by a Philadelphia lawmaker whose parents are among the targets of the Council investigation. Several legislators said the amendment would have shut the investigation down. The lone opponent of the bill was Rep. John Davies, R-Berks, who said the measure was "weak and ineffective" and failed to go far enough in limiting public officials' involvement with outside business interests.
NEWS
January 26, 1988 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 179th Legislative District is one of the most diverse in the city - a stew of whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians, with new immigrants arriving every week. For 21 years, it has been represented in Harrisburg by Democrat William W. Rieger, a native Philadelphian of German-Irish extraction who owns Charlie's Pizzeria on Roosevelt Boulevard. Now, as Rieger seeks election to a 12th term, he is being challenged within his party by Ben Ramos, who was born in Puerto Rico 31 years ago and is backed by much of the burgeoning Hispanic population in the district, which includes parts of Hunting Park, Feltonville, Logan and Tioga.
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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
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.
NEWS
August 29, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - After several high-profile ethics violations by top staffers, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has revised its code of conduct for employees and implemented a new code for firms doing business with the agency. For employees, the revised code goes into effect next month. It explicitly prohibits them from accepting anything of value, under any circumstances, from vendors doing business or seeking to do business with the agency. "There are no exceptions to this prohibition," the revised code states in bold and italic letters.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two personnel issues - an ethics violation by the chief public defender and the sudden firing of a longtime assistant public defender - have put a Montgomery County office in an unaccustomed spotlight. Chief public defender Keir Bradford-Grey, who holds an appointed position, was disciplined last week after county officials learned she had forwarded to 35 lawyers who work for her an e-mail invitation she had received to a political fund-raiser. The county ethics code for employees prohibits them from politicking in the office.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
John McDaniel, the former campaign manager for Blondell Reynolds Brown, who recently pleaded guilty to stealing $103,000 from her campaign and from another political action committee, reached a settlement agreement Monday with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics for violations of the city's election-finance laws. McDaniel agreed to pay $12,450 over the ethics charges, but his fine will be waived if he is sent to federal prison for his guilty plea. His sentencing is scheduled for May 14. The Ethics Board settlement says McDaniel contributed $4,600 to Reynolds Brown in 2011, $2,000 more than allowed.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - For New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, it was an unforgettable week. It began with his colleagues voting this son of Cuban immigrants into one of the most influential seats in the Senate, the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee. By the end, the FBI had raided the office of his close friend and donor, news crews lurked outside his Washington home, and reporters chased him down a hotel hallway, firing questions not about Iran and immigration, but about plane flights and prostitutes.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
During the heyday of congressional earmarks in 2004, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) won a $750,000 grant for the company of Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's husband to tell golf course managers how to have ecologically friendly greens. The grant was approved by Congress but blocked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It became a poster child for bad earmarks. "EPA officials concluded there was nothing new or innovative being proposed by the program," the agency inspector general wrote about Howard A. Brown's Environmental & Sports Inc. "The applicant did not have sufficient expertise to perform the work.
NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Bob Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown used $3,300 in campaign funds to repay a personal loan from Chaka Fattah Jr., son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, and covered it up as a payment to a printing firm, she admitted in a settlement agreement released Monday by the Board of Ethics. Brown admitted dozens of other omissions, misstatements and misrepresentations in her campaign finance reports and personal financial disclosure forms for 2010 and 2011, when she was seeking a fourth Council term.
NEWS
September 23, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters won't be charged with ethics violations following allegations that she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock. House ethics committee members said Friday at a hearing that their investigation found no violation by Waters, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. She could become the panel's senior Democrat next year, or the chairwoman, if Democrats win control of the House.
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