Political watchdog urges law enforcement to examine Councilwoman's campaign finance violations

A day after the city’s Ethics Board fined Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown for a series of campaign finance violations, the city’s political watchdog, Committee of Seventy is calling for law enforcement officials to review the findings.

Brown who earlier today refused to answer questions about the report has to pay more than $48,000 in fines for poor bookkeeping.

The Committee of Seventy noted two major issues of concern including the “lack of transparency involving annual filings with the city of statements of financial disclosure by elected officials and many non-elected officials and the sufficiency of civil penalties imposed for violations of Philadelphia’s ethics and campaign finance laws in deterring recurring abuses of these laws.”

Zack Stalberg, president of the Committee of Seventy called on law enforcement to determine if further action is warranted. As the Daily News reported today, sources say the FBI has asked questions about Reynolds Brown and former campaign manager John McDaniel. 

Stalberg said in a statement that the city needs to make annual financial disclosure statements available online. “The lack of transparency – which should be immediately corrected – makes it exceedingly difficult to find out if sources of income are properly reported, much less figure out what may not have been reported.”