Shapiro Announces “Ethics Package” For 3,500 Commonwealth Employees

Josh Shapiro at podium during his inauguration

eth – ics

noun: moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.

Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled his three-part ethics package on Friday that will “ensure that the highest standards of integrity guide every action taken by the public servants, officials, and employees under the governor’s jurisdiction.”

The package includes:

  • an Executive Order instituting a policy to prevent improper influence from lobbyists and special interests that applies to all Executive branch employees;
  • an Integrity Pledge that all Cabinet members, Governor’s Office staff, and senior managers at Commonwealth agencies will be required to sign; and
  • a mandatory ethics training, led by Eric Fillman, former Chief Integrity Officer in the Office of Attorney General, for all Cabinet members, Governor’s Office staff, and senior managers.

 

Approximately 3,500 Commonwealth employees will be initially required to sign the integrity pledge and participate in the ethics training. In a press release, the Shapiro Administration said it will work to expand that number over time.

“As Attorney General, I held my agency and my staff to the highest standards of integrity and accountability – and today, we are bringing those same standards to the Governor’s Office and executive branch employees under my jurisdiction,” said Shapiro.

“This ethics package promotes trust in government and accountability for public officials while fostering dialogue and allowing our administration to bring people together to deliver results for all Pennsylvanians. Our policy ensures no lobbyist or special interest group can buy improper influence, and the integrity pledge every senior administration official will sign is a promise to the people of Pennsylvania that we will serve their best interests alone each and every day.”

The work Governor Shapiro did in the Office of Attorney General is the gold standard in restoring institutional integrity,” said Fillman. “Under his leadership, the Office of Attorney General re-established a highly ethical atmosphere and rebuilt mutual trust with the public – as governor, he will ensure the Commonwealth maintains that atmosphere and trust as he moves his agenda forward.”

“Governor Shapiro is following in the proud tradition of Governor Thornburgh’s Code of Ethics, and I look forward to leading ethics trainings for his staff and cabinet.”

The Executive Order prohibits Executive Branch employees from soliciting or accepting gifts, including a total prohibition on gifts, discounts, services or any other items or other benefits of any value received from a lobbyist or lobbying firm.

The integrity pledge and ethics training are modeled after Shapiro’s 2017 best practices he established when he assumed the Attorney General’s position. As part of the ethics training, Fillman will cover the state Ethics Act, the Adverse Interest Act, and the Executive Branch Code of Ethics.

“We have to be able to participate in the community again, but at the same time, my policy also includes a complete and total zero-tolerance policy toward lobbyists. No one will be able to buy improper influence with any member of my administration,” he said.

2 Responses

  1. Follow-up: Shapiro won’t release donor list for in inauguration.
    Because PA campaign finance laws are deliberately designed to promote and hide corruption and bribery, Shapiro is not LEAGALLY required to disclose and can hide behind the bullshit answer: “We are following the law”

    1) The law doesn’t say you cannot disclose
    2) Ethics and transparency dictate you should disclose. (These are in short supply for Shapiro, so no one should hold their breaths on Josh doing the right thing.)

  2. It’s unclear if Shapiro will sign the pledge or take the ethics training. Some suggested topics that the training should cover….

    Ethics questions:
    1) Is it ethical to collect donations for County Commissioner reelection, when you are really collecting donations for Attorney General race?

    2) Is it ethical to collect donations for Attorney General reelection when you are really collecting for Governor race?

    3) Is it ethical to accept $150,000 in donations to school choice PAC, and look the other way at their textbook direct quid-pro-quo bribery of elected offficials?

    4) Is it ethical to accept endorsement and $50,000 from Philly FOP, and look the other way at abuses by police?

    5) Is it ethical to threaten people and livelihoods and twist arms to coerce state committee to vote for your shill pick for state party chair?

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