Thursday, December 18, 2014

Former federal prosecutor to leave Ethics Board

Attorney Kenya Mann Faulkner, the former assistant U.S. Attorney who helped send City Councilman Rick Mariano to federal prison, will step down from the Board of Ethics after 30 months on the job.

Former federal prosecutor to leave Ethics Board

Attorney Kenya Mann Faulkner, the former assistant U.S. Attorney who helped send City Councilman Rick Mariano to federal prison, will step down from the Board of Ethics after 30 months on the job.

At today's Board of Ethics meeting, Ethics Board chairman Richard Glazer read aloud a letter Faulkner sent to Mayor Nutter, in which she cited "health challenges." Her last day is June 30. 

"The board will be poorer without you," Glazer told Faulkner at the meeting.

Faulkner was one of Mayor Nutter's first appointments, announced in December 2007 -- before Nutter even took office. Her appointment was announced along with two fellow former federal prosecutors, Amy Kurland, Nutter's inspector general, and Joan Markman, the city's chief integrity officer. Together, the three would provide the administration with a zero-tolerance approach to corruption. Faulkner's prosecutorial style rankled the same City Council members responsible for confirming Faulkner's appointment.

Her term was not up until November, though she was recently reconfirmed by Council for another term, by default. Council members, angry at what they called a "gotcha" approach to ethics, bashed Faulkner during confirmation hearings in March and then allowed her confirmation to become fact without taking a vote.

Faulkner, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, the high-powered Center City firm, battled with Council behind closed doors and in the hearing, and never gave Council members the deference they demanded. Council members complained that she treated them like criminals, and Faulkner did little to dispel the perception. Faulkner and the rest of the Ethics Board did work cooperatively -- and productively -- with Council on a recent package of ethics bills that included the city's first lobbyist registration law. 
 

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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