Top former LCB officials cited for ethics violations

The Pennsylvania Ethics Commission has found that three former top Liquor Control Board officials improperly accepted gifts from vendors.

In an order released today the commission found former chairman Patrick "P.J." Stapleton, former CEO Joseph Conti and former marketing director James Short violated the state ethics act for taking gifts, meals and other hospitality provided by various vendors who had contracts with the board and not reporting it on their annual statements of financial interest.

The board found Stapleton. who resigned in 2012, took meals and received gifts of alcohol from vendors with LCB contracts without reporting them in 2010 and 2011. Stapleton was directed to repay the Commonwealth $7,258.

It said Conti, a former state Senator, who resigned in 2013, took meals and beverages and accepted invitations to golf outings from vendors when he was chief executive officer. Among the gifts was an invtitation to the 2010 AT&T Pro-Am Tournament held at Aronimink Golf Club.

Conti was directed to repay the Commonwealth $2,388.51.

James Short, the former director of Marketing and Merchandising for the LCB, was found to have accepted gifts, transportation, lodging, and hospitality from vendors between 2008 through 2011.

Short, who retired earlier this month, was ordered to repay the Commonwealth $13,586.


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