Sunday, March 1, 2015

Board of Ethics to revise rules regarding Controller's staff

The city Board of Ethics is set to end a workaround that allows some employees at the City Controller's office to skirt city ethics rules.

Board of Ethics to revise rules regarding Controller's staff

The city Board of Ethics is set to end a workaround that allows some employees at the City Controller's office to skirt city ethics rules.

A small number of workers in the Controller's office have been able to avoid a city ban on political activity because they are paid through the School District. But Board of Ethics Executive Director Shane Creamer today released an opinion from the city solicitor, which said that those workers should be subject to the same rules as all other city employees.

Creamer said the board would reach out to the Controller's office to do training and will seek to enforce the rules moving forward, but would not reprimand anyone for any past behavior.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz said he had been given a copy of the opinion. He said his office now has just five people who are being paid through the district. Butkovitz said he expects them to follow the rules -- and added that he would be happy to move them to the city budget, if he could get the funding.

"My position is whatever the mayor and the city, however they want to fund these positions, that’s ok with me," Butkovitz said.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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