Thursday, October 23, 2014

Public Record: Singer Boxed In By Ethics Code?

Singer Boxed In By Ethics Code?

by Joe Shaheeli

The Committee of Seventy states Democratic City Commissioner Stephanie Singer, a former Chair of the Commissioners, whose office has been plagued by ethical issues, including having her Deputy Tracey Gordon’s computer confiscated at the request of the City’s Ethics Board, stated, “Singer has already declared her intention to seek reelection in 2015.”
This could pose a problem for her because the Pennsylvania Code states that she cannot perform official duties and must be replaced by a Judge, which would mean that she cannot preside over the Sunshine meetings or participate in the official vote canvass following the election.
Section 301(c) of the Code states: “(c) Whenever a member of the board of county commissioners is a candidate for nomination or election to any public office, the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas shall appoint a judge or an elector of the county to serve in his stead.”
The Committee believes the City’s Board of Ethics further states a candidate is defined as “An individual who i) files nomination petitions or papers for public elective office, or ii) publicly announces his or her candidacy for public elective office.” It believes Commissioner Singer should recuse herself from any official conduct as the City Commissioner including overseeing the vote canvass and presiding over the weekly Sunshine meetings.
Now you know why we look at Board of Ethics as a tangled web created by pols who don’t understand how this growing indictment of commonsense politics remains unchecked.

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