PRINTER'S NO.  1401

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

1200

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY SCHRODER, DePASQUALE, VEREB, SHAPIRO, AUMENT, BAKER, BARRAR, BENNINGHOFF, BLOOM, BOYD, BRIGGS, CAUSER, D. COSTA, CUTLER, DALEY, DAVIS, DEASY, DeLUCA, DENLINGER, FARRY, FREEMAN, GIBBONS, GINGRICH, GOODMAN, GRELL, HARPER, HARRIS, HENNESSEY, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KORTZ, LAWRENCE, MAJOR, MURT, MUSTIO, M. O'BRIEN, PYLE, REED, REESE, M. SMITH, STEVENSON, SWANGER, VULAKOVICH, WAGNER, WATSON AND YOUNGBLOOD, APRIL 5, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, APRIL 5, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania

2

Consolidated Statutes, further providing for short title of

3

chapter, for purpose and for definitions; providing for

4

establishment and operation of nominating committee, for

5

Public Integrity Commission, for limitations on activities by

6

commissioners and employees, for powers and duties of

7

commission, for authority, qualification, training and

8

identification of investigative employees designated as law

9

enforcement officers, for photo identification, for immunity

10

of witnesses and for enforcement of subpoenas; further

11

providing for restricted activities, for statement of

12

financial interests required to be filed, for investigations

13

by commission and for penalties; providing for costs

14

restitutions and forfeiture; further providing for wrongful

15

use of chapter; and providing for disclosure of executive

16

session testimony and investigative records, for privileged

17

statements and reports, for commission disclosure of economic

18

interests and for applicable statutes.

19

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

20

hereby enacts as follows:

21

Section 1.  Sections 1101 and 1101.1 of Title 65 of the

22

Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:

23

§ 1101.  Short title of chapter.

 


1

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the [Public

2

Official and Employee Ethics] Public Integrity Commission Act.

3

§ 1101.1.  Purpose.

4

(a)  [Declarations.--The Legislature hereby declares that

5

public office is a public trust and that any effort to realize

6

personal financial gain through public office other than

7

compensation provided by law is a violation of that trust. In

8

order to strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of

9

this Commonwealth in their government, the Legislature further

10

declares that the people have a right to be assured that the

11

financial interests of holders of or nominees or candidates for

12

public office do not conflict with the public trust. Because

13

public confidence in government can best be sustained by

14

assuring the people of the impartiality and honesty of public

15

officials, this chapter shall be liberally construed to promote

16

complete financial disclosure as specified in this chapter.

17

Furthermore, it is recognized that clear guidelines are needed

18

in order to guide public officials and employees in their

19

actions. Thus, the General Assembly by this chapter intends to

20

define as clearly as possible those areas which represent

21

conflict with the public trust.] Legislative intent.--It is the

22

intent of the General Assembly that this chapter promote the

23

following public policy purposes and objectives:

24

(1)  Uncover and investigate public corruption within the

25

Commonwealth:

26

(i)  at all levels of government, including State,

27

county and local; and

28

(ii)  in all branches of government, including

29

legislative, executive and judicial.

30

(2)  Establish a Public Integrity Commission which serves

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1

both a law enforcement role as a criminal justice agency

2

concerning specific criminal violations and an educational

3

role for public officials, public employees, district

4

attorneys, other law enforcement entities, the General

5

Assembly and the public.

6

(3)  Encourage the Public Integrity Commission to work

7

cooperatively with the Attorney General, the Pennsylvania

8

State Police, district attorneys and other law enforcement

9

entities in conducting its mission.

10

(4)  Promote administration of this chapter by the Public 

11

Integrity Commission in a manner which is cognizant of the

12

responsibilities and burdens of public officials and

13

employees who have demonstrated an interest in promoting

14

public confidence in government.

15

(b)  [Recognition.--It is recognized that many public

16

officials, including most local officials and members of the

17

General Assembly, are citizen-officials who bring to their

18

public office the knowledge and concerns of ordinary citizens

19

and taxpayers. They should not be discouraged from maintaining

20

their contacts with their community through their occupations

21

and professions. Thus, in order to foster maximum compliance

22

with its terms, this chapter shall be administered in a manner

23

that emphasizes guidance to public officials and public

24

employees regarding the ethical standards established by this

25

chapter.] Declarations.--The Legislature declares that public

26

office is a public trust and that any effort to realize personal

27

financial gain through public office other than compensation

28

provided by law is a violation of that trust. The Legislature

29

also declares the public would be best served by a Statewide

30

criminal justice agency which focuses on investigating public

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1

corruption. In order to strengthen the faith and confidence of

2

the people of this Commonwealth in their government, the

3

Legislature further declares that the people have a right to be

4

assured that the financial interests of holders of or nominees

5

or candidates for public office do not conflict with the public

6

trust. Because public confidence in government can best be

7

sustained by assuring the people of the impartiality and honesty

8

of public officials, this chapter shall be liberally construed

9

to promote complete financial disclosure as specified in this

10

chapter. Furthermore, it is recognized that clear guidelines are

11

needed in order to guide public officials and employees in their

12

actions. Thus, the General Assembly by this chapter intends to

13

define as clearly as possible those areas which represent

14

conflict with the public trust.

15

(c)  [Legislative intent.--It is the intent of the General

16

Assembly that this chapter be administered by an independent

17

commission composed of members who are cognizant of the

18

responsibilities and burdens of public officials and employees

19

and who have demonstrated an interest in promoting public

20

confidence in government.] (Reserved).

21

Section 2.  The definitions of "advice," "business with which

22

he is associated," "candidate," "commission," "conflict" or

23

"conflict of interest," "contract," "findings report," "opinion"

24

and "order" in section 1102 of Title 65 are amended and the

25

section is amended by adding definitions to read:

26

§ 1102.  Definitions.

27

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

28

shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the

29

meanings given to them in this section:

30

"Advice."  Any directive of the chief counsel of the [State

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1

Ethics Commission] commission issued under section [1107(11)]

2

1102.4(15) (relating to powers and duties of commission) and

3

based exclusively on prior commission opinions, prior opinions

4

of the State Ethics Commission, this chapter, regulations

5

promulgated pursuant to this chapter and court opinions which

6

interpret this chapter.

7

* * *

8

"Business with which [he] a person is associated."  Any

9

business in which the person or a member of the person's

10

immediate family is a director, officer, owner, employee or has

11

a financial interest.

12

"Candidate."  Any individual who seeks nomination or election

13

to public office by vote of the electorate, other than a judge

14

of elections, inspector of elections or official of a political

15

party, whether or not such individual is nominated or elected.

16

An individual shall be deemed to be seeking nomination or

17

election to such office if [he] the individual has:

18

(1)  received a contribution or made an expenditure or

19

given [his] consent for any other person or committee to

20

receive a contribution or make an expenditure for the purpose

21

of influencing [his] the nomination or election to such

22

office, whether or not the individual has announced the

23

specific office for which [he] the individual will seek

24

nomination or election at the time the contribution is

25

received or the expenditure is made; or

26

(2)  taken the action necessary under the laws of this

27

Commonwealth to qualify [himself] the individual for

28

nomination or election to such office.

29

The term shall include individuals nominated or elected as

30

write-in candidates unless they resign such nomination or

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1

elected office within 30 days of having been nominated or

2

elected.

3

"Commission."  The [State Ethics] Public Integrity 

4

Commission.

5

* * *

6

"Conflict" or "conflict of interest."  Use by a public

7

official or public employee of the authority of [his] the

8

person's office or employment or any confidential information

9

received through [his] holding public office or employment for

10

the private pecuniary benefit of [himself, a member of his

11

immediate family] the person, an immediate family member or a

12

business with which [he] the person or a member of [his] the

13

person's immediate family is associated. The term does not

14

include an action having a de minimis economic impact or which

15

affects to the same degree a class consisting of the general

16

public or a subclass consisting of an industry, occupation or

17

other group which includes the public official or public

18

employee, a member of [his] the person's immediate family or a

19

business with which [he] the person or a member of [his] the

20

person's immediate family is associated.

21

"Contract."  An agreement or arrangement for the acquisition,

22

use or disposal by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision

23

of consulting or other services or of supplies, materials,

24

equipment, land or other personal or real property. The term

25

shall not mean an agreement or arrangement between the State or

26

political subdivision as one party and a public official or

27

public employee as the other party, concerning [his] the public

28

official or public employee's expense, reimbursement, salary,

29

wage, retirement or other benefit, tenure or other matters in

30

consideration of [his] the public official or public employee's 

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1

current public employment with the Commonwealth or a political

2

subdivision.

3

"Court."  The Commonwealth Court.

4

* * *

5

"Ex parte."  An off-the-record communication engaged in or

6

received by a commissioner regarding the merits of or any facts

7

in issue related to an investigation or other ongoing proceeding

8

before the commission or which may reasonably be expected to

9

come before the commission with or from an individual, or on

10

behalf of an individual, who is the subject of the investigation

11

or other proceeding.

12

* * *

13

"Findings report."  An initial report containing findings of

14

fact as determined by the [State Ethics Commission's]

15

commission's investigation but not containing any conclusions of

16

law or any determination of whether there has been a violation

17

of law.

18

* * *

19

"Immunity order."  An order issued under this chapter by the

20

court directing a witness to testify or produce other

21

information over a claim of privilege against self-

22

incrimination.

23

* * *

24

"Opinion."  A directive of the [State Ethics Commission]

25

commission issued pursuant to section [1107(10)] 1102.4(14) 

26

(relating to powers and duties of commission) setting forth a

27

public official's or public employee's duties under this

28

chapter.

29

"Order."  A directive of the [State Ethics Commission]

30

commission issued pursuant to section [1107(13)] 1102.4(17) 

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1

(relating to powers and duties of commission) at the conclusion

2

of an investigation which contains findings of fact, conclusions

3

of law and penalties.

4

* * *

5

"Public corruption."  The unlawful activity, under color of

6

or in connection with any public office or employment, of any

7

individual:

8

(1)  employed by an agency as defined in the act of

9

February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know

10

Law; or

11

(2)  elected by the public, appointed to fill an

12

unexpired term of any elected or appointed official,

13

appointed by a governmental body or who is an appointed

14

official in an agency as defined in the Right-to-Know Law.

15

* * *

16

Section 3.  Title 65 is amended by adding sections to read:

17

§ 1102.1.  Establishment and operation of nominating committee.

18

(a)  Establishment.--When a vacancy exists in the commission,

19

a nominating committee shall be established and selected as

20

provided in this section.

21

(b)  List of current nominees.-–A nominating committee shall

22

compile a list of 15 current nominees to fill a vacancy in the

23

commission. A list of nominees shall not have more than six

24

members of the same political party. After the vacancy in the

25

commission for which the nominating committee was established

26

has been filled, the list of 15 current nominees shall be

27

discarded, and a subsequent vacancy shall not be filled from

28

that list. This section shall not preclude the inclusion of a

29

nominee in a subsequent list of nominees.

30

(c)  Selection and composition.--The nominating committee

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1

shall be selected as follows:

2

(1)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall

3

appoint three members of the nominating committee. One

4

appointee shall be a current or former district attorney.

5

Two appointees shall be current or former deans of a

6

Pennsylvania law school accredited by the American Bar

7

Association.

8

(2)  The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives

9

shall appoint two members of the nominating committee. One

10

appointee shall be a current or former dean of a Pennsylvania

11

law school accredited by the American Bar Association. One

12

appointee shall be a member or employee of a nonprofit,

13

nonpartisan citizen's lobbying organization that has been in

14

existence for no fewer than 30 years.

15

(3)  No more than three members of the nominating

16

committee shall be members of the same political party.

17

(d)  Chairperson.--The members of the nominating committee

18

shall select a chairperson of the committee from among the

19

members.

20

(e)  Term.--The members of the nominating committee shall

21

serve for two years or until the vacancy in the commission for

22

which the nominating committee was created has been filled,

23

whichever is greater. Nothing in this section shall preclude the

24

reappointment of a member of a nominating committee to a

25

subsequent nominating committee.

26

(f)  Expenses.--The members of a nominating committee shall

27

serve without compensation but shall be entitled to reasonable

28

travel, hotel and other necessary expenses from the funds of the

29

commission as approved by the commission. The expenses shall not

30

exceed the applicable per diem rates established by the United

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1

States General Services Administration.

2

(g)  Support.--The commission shall provide administrative

3

assistance to a nominating committee.

4

(h)  Vacancies.--Vacancies in a nominating committee before

5

the expiration of its term shall be filled for the remainder of

6

the term in the same manner as original appointments.

7

(i)  Removal.--The appointing authority of a member of a

8

nominating committee may remove that member for good cause.

9

(j)  Procedure.--The following shall apply to a nominating

10

committee procedure:

11

(1)  A majority of the members of a nominating committee

12

constitutes a quorum. A member of a nominating committee

13

shall participate at a meeting of the committee in person or

14

by teleconference or video conference for the purposes of

15

meeting a quorum.

16

(2)  Voting shall be direct, including voting by

17

teleconference or video conference. Voting by proxy shall not

18

be permitted.

19

(k)  Meetings.--A nominating committee shall meet as needed

20

at the call of the chairperson.

21

§ 1102.2.  Commission.

22

(a)  Continuation of State Ethics Commission.--The commission

23

is a successor to and a continuation of the State Ethics

24

Commission established under the act of October 4, 1978

25

(P.L.883, No.170), referred to as the Public Official and

26

Employee Ethics Law. The commission shall be an independent

27

administrative body consisting of seven members who shall be

28

known as commissioners.

29

(b)  Continuation of commissioners of the State Ethics

30

Commission.--Upon the effective date of this section, the

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1

current commissioners of the State Ethics Commission shall hold

2

over and continue to serve as administrators of this chapter

3

with all of the duties, powers, rights and responsibilities of

4

commissioners of the commission until no fewer than four

5

commissioners are appointed under subsection (c).

6

(c)  Composition.--The commissioners shall be appointed by

7

the Governor, subject to the consent of two-thirds of the

8

members elected to the Senate, from the list of current nominees

9

prepared by a nominating committee under section 1102.1

10

(relating to establishment and operation of nominating

11

committee). The commission shall not have more than three

12

commissioners of the same political party.

13

(d)  Term.--The original commissioners shall be appointed as

14

follows:

15

(1)  Three shall be appointed for a term of one year.

16

(2)  Three shall be appointed for a term of two years.

17

(3)  One shall be appointed for a term of three years.

18

After the original commissioners are appointed, appointments  

19

shall be for a term of three years.

20

(e)  Vacancy and reappointment.--A vacancy shall be filled

21

for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as an

22

original appointment. Upon the expiration of a term, a

23

commissioner shall continue to hold office until a successor has

24

been duly appointed, but not longer than six months after the

25

expiration of the commissioner's appointed term. A commissioner

26

may be reappointed to serve one three-year term if included on

27

the list of current nominees for that vacancy provided by a

28

nominating committee under section 1102.1.

29

(f)  Chairperson.--The commissioners shall meet on an annual

30

basis to select a chairperson of the commission from among the

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1

commissioners.

2

(g)  Compensation and expenses.--A commissioner shall receive

3

$100-a-day compensation for every meeting of the commission at

4

which the commissioner participates in person and a quorum of

5

the commission is present. A commissioner shall be entitled to

6

reasonable travel, hotel and other necessary expenses as

7

approved by the commission, but the expenses shall not exceed

8

the applicable per diem rates established by the United States

9

General Services Administration.

10

(h)  Removal.--Except as authorized under this subsection, a

11

commissioner shall not be removed from office during his term. A

12

commissioner may be removed from office in the following

13

circumstances:

14

(1)  Upon clear and convincing evidence of misfeasance or

15

malfeasance in office or neglect of duty by a commissioner,

16

the Governor may remove a commissioner prior to the

17

expiration of the term. The Governor shall provide the

18

commissioner who is removed with a statement of the reasons

19

for the removal.

20

(2)  A commissioner who fails to attend, in person or by

21

teleconference or video conference, three consecutive

22

meetings shall forfeit the position on the commission unless

23

the chairperson, upon written request from the commissioner,

24

finds the commissioner should be excused for good cause.

25

A commissioner who is removed may petition the court for

26

reinstatement. The court shall hold an expedited hearing and

27

render a decision within 30 days after the hearing or as soon

28

thereafter as may be practicable. A decision of the court that

29

is adverse to a commissioner who is removed shall result in a

30

vacancy that shall be filled under this chapter.

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1

(i)  Procedure.--All of the following shall apply to

2

commission procedure:

3

(1)  A majority of the commissioners constitutes a

4

quorum. A commissioner must participate at a meeting of the

5

commission in person or by teleconference or video conference

6

for the purpose of meeting a quorum.

7

(2)  Voting must be direct, including voting by

8

teleconference or video conference. Voting by proxy shall not

9

be permitted.

10

(j)  Meetings.--The commission shall meet no fewer than once

11

every two months and at additional times as necessary to conduct

12

the business of the commission.

13

(k)  Ex parte communication.--No commissioner shall engage in

14

any ex parte communication with any person. Any commissioner who

15

receives any ex parte communication shall immediately notify the

16

chief counsel of the commission of the names of the persons

17

involved, the date and time of the ex parte communication and

18

the substance of the communication. A commissioner who engages

19

in or receives an ex parte communication shall recuse himself or

20

herself from any vote, hearing or other commission proceeding

21

if, in the opinion of the chief counsel of the commission, the

22

context and substance of the ex parte communication creates

23

doubt as to the commissioner's ability to act objectively,

24

independently or impartially.

25

§ 1102.3.  Limitations on activities by commissioners and

26

employees.

27

(a)  General rule.--No individual while a member or employee

28

of the commission shall:

29

(1)  Hold another public office or be a candidate for

30

another public office.

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1

(2)  Hold office in a political party or political

2

committee.

3

(3)  Actively participate in, contribute to or solicit

4

contributions for a political campaign, political party,

5

political committee or candidate.

6

(4)  Publicly endorse a candidate.

7

(b)  Exception.--Nothing in this section shall preclude a

8

member or employee of the commission from actively participating

9

in, contributing to or soliciting contributions for a candidate

10

for Federal office or elective office outside of this

11

Commonwealth.

12

§ 1102.4.  Powers and duties of commission.

13

In addition to other powers and duties prescribed by law, the

14

commission shall:

15

(1)  Prescribe and publish rules and regulations to carry

16

out the provisions of this chapter, including regulations

17

controlling or defining the following:

18

(i)  Calling of meetings.

19

(ii)  Investigative responsibilities of commission

20

members and employees.

21

(iii)  Written procedures to be utilized by the

22

commission's investigative management staff in planning

23

and supervising investigations and inquiries.

24

(iv)  Dissemination of materials, including

25

dissemination to the Governor and members or committees

26

of the General Assembly.

27

(v)  Appropriate use of commission property,

28

including vehicles.

29

(vi)  Maintenance of confidentiality of information.

30

(vii)  Other procedures and acts necessary for the

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1

proper functioning of the commission.

2

(2)  As a criminal justice agency, investigate public

3

corruption and the activities of persons engaged in and

4

associated with public corruption. The commission shall make

5

a written report of every completed public corruption

6

investigation which may include recommendation for

7

legislative or administrative action. Except for those

8

reports provided to another law enforcement agency, if a

9

public corruption report is critical of a named individual

10

not indicted for a criminal offense, the named individual

11

shall be allowed 30 days to submit a response to the

12

allegations contained in the report which shall be made part

13

of the report before the report is made public.

14

(3)  Hold hearings, take testimony, issue subpoenas and

15

require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the

16

production of documentary evidence relative to any

17

investigation which the commission may conduct in accordance

18

with the powers given it. The subpoenas shall be signed by

19

the chairperson, the chief counsel and one other commissioner

20

and shall be served by a person authorized to serve subpoenas

21

under the laws of this Commonwealth.

22

(4)  Refer criminal violations to a district attorney,

23

the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, the Attorney General of

24

the United States or a United States Attorney for

25

prosecution.

26

(5)  During April of each calendar year, submit an annual

27

report on the status of public corruption in this

28

Commonwealth to a joint public hearing of the Judiciary

29

Committee of the Senate and the Judiciary Committee of the

30

House of Representatives. The commission shall submit other

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1

public corruption reports and present the reports at public

2

hearings of the committees of the Senate and the House of

3

Representatives having oversight responsibilities or

4

appropriate legislative jurisdiction of the subject matter of

5

the reports. If a report is critical of a named individual

6

not indicted for a criminal offense, the named individual

7

shall be allowed 30 days to submit a response to the

8

allegations contained in the report which shall be made part

9

of the report before the report is made public.

10

(6)  Prescribe forms for statements and reports required

11

to be filed by this chapter and furnish such forms to persons

12

required to file such statements and reports.

13

(7)  Prepare and publish guidelines setting forth

14

recommended uniform methods of accounting and reporting for

15

use by persons required to file statements and reports by

16

this chapter.

17

(8)  Accept and file any information voluntarily supplied

18

that exceeds the requirements of this chapter.

19

(9)  Inspect statements of financial interests which have

20

been filed in order to ascertain whether any reporting person

21

has failed to file such a statement or has filed a deficient

22

statement. If, upon inspection, it is determined that a

23

reporting person has failed to file a statement of financial

24

interests or that any statement which has been filed fails to

25

conform with the requirements of section 1105 (relating to

26

statement of financial interests), then the commission shall

27

in writing notify the person. Such notice shall state in

28

detail the deficiency and the penalties for failure to file

29

or for filing a deficient statement of financial interests.

30

(10)  Provide that statements and reports filed with the

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1

commission be made available under the act of February 14,

2

2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

3

(11)  Compile and maintain an index of all reports and

4

statements filed with the commission to facilitate public

5

access to such reports and statements and instruct other

6

State and local agencies which receive and file financial

7

interest statements in the maintenance of systems which

8

facilitate public access to such statements.

9

(12)  Prepare and publish annual summaries of statements

10

and reports filed with the commission.

11

(13)  Preserve statements and reports filed with the

12

commission for a period of five years from date of receipt

13

and advise other State and local agencies which receive and

14

store financial interest statements to preserve such

15

statements for a period of five years from date of receipt.

16

(14)  Issue to any person upon such person's request or

17

to the appointing authority or employer of that person upon

18

the request of such appointing authority or employer an

19

opinion with respect to such person's duties under this

20

chapter. The commission shall, within 14 days, either issue

21

the opinion or advise the person who made the request whether

22

an opinion will be issued. A person who acts in good faith on

23

an opinion issued to that person by the commission shall not

24

be subject to criminal or civil penalties for so acting,

25

provided that the material facts are as stated in the opinion

26

request. The commission's opinions shall be public record and

27

may from time to time be published. The person requesting the

28

opinion may, however, require that the opinion shall contain

29

such deletions and changes as shall be necessary to protect

30

the identity of the persons involved.

- 17 -

 


1

(15)  Provide written advice to any person or the

2

appointing authority or employer of such person upon the

3

person's request with respect to such person's duties under

4

this chapter. Such advice shall be provided within 21 working

5

days of the request, provided that the time may be extended

6

for good cause. It shall be a complete defense in any

7

enforcement proceeding initiated by the commission and

8

evidence of good faith conduct in any other civil or criminal

9

proceeding if the requester, at least 21 working days prior

10

to the alleged violation, requested written advice from the

11

commission in good faith, disclosed truthfully all the

12

material facts and committed the acts complained of either in

13

reliance on the advice or because of the failure of the

14

commission to provide advice within 21 days of the request or

15

such later extended time. The person requesting the advice

16

may, however, require that the advice shall contain such

17

deletions and changes as shall be necessary to protect the

18

identity of the persons involved.

19

(16)  Initiate an inquiry under section 1108(a) (relating

20

to investigations of violations of this chapter by

21

commission) where a complaint has not been filed but where

22

there is a reasonable belief that a conflict may exist.

23

(17)  Issue findings, reports and orders relating to

24

investigations initiated under section 1108 which set forth

25

the alleged violation, findings of fact and conclusions of

26

law. An order may include a referral for prosecution. Any

27

order resulting from a finding that a public official or

28

public employee has obtained a financial gain in violation of

29

this chapter may require the restitution plus interest of

30

that gain to the appropriate governmental body. The

- 18 -

 


1

commission or the Office of Attorney General shall have

2

standing to apply to the court to seek enforcement of an

3

order requiring such restitution. This restitution

4

requirement shall be in addition to any other penalties

5

provided for in this chapter.

6

(18)  Prepare and publish special reports, educational

7

materials and technical studies to further the purposes of

8

this chapter.

9

(19)  Transmit, free of charge, copies of each order,

10

advice and opinion which have become a matter of public

11

record quarterly to the law library of each county, one

12

public library in each county, the State Library of

13

Pennsylvania, the Senate Library of Pennsylvania, the

14

Legislative Reference Bureau, each authority appointing

15

commission members under this chapter, the Commissioners

16

Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State

17

Association of Boroughs, the Pennsylvania State Association

18

of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania State Association

19

of Township Commissioners, the Pennsylvania School Boards

20

Association and the Pennsylvania League of Cities and

21

Municipalities.

22

(20)  Hold at least two public hearings each year, of

23

which at least one shall be held in Harrisburg and at least

24

one shall be held in a location other than Harrisburg, to

25

seek input from persons and organizations that represent any

26

individual subject to the provisions of this chapter and from

27

other interested parties.

28

(21)  Call upon the department heads of State government

29

and State agencies through its chairperson for information

30

and assistance as needed to carry out the functions of the

- 19 -

 


1

commission.

2

(22)  Account to the Governor, the Auditor General and

3

the General Assembly at the end of each fiscal year for

4

moneys received and disbursed.

5

(23)  Appoint and fix the compensation of an executive

6

director and a chief counsel. The executive director shall be

7

responsible for the administrative operations of the

8

commission and shall perform other duties as may be delegated

9

or assigned by the commission, except that the commission

10

shall not delegate the making of regulations to the executive

11

director. The chief counsel shall be the chief legal officer

12

of the commission. The commission may obtain the services of

13

experts and consultants as necessary to carry out its duties

14

under this chapter.

15

(24)  Appoint and fix the compensation of other employees

16

as the commission may find necessary for the proper

17

performance of the functions of the commission. The

18

commission shall designate which investigative employees of

19

the commission shall be law enforcement officers as provided

20

in section 1102.5 (relating to authority, qualification,

21

training and identification of investigative employees

22

designated as law enforcement officers). Other employees of

23

the commission shall be civilians.

24

(25)  Pay expenses incurred by the executive director,

25

chief counsel or other employees on the presentation of

26

itemized vouchers and approval by the commission.

27

(26)  Perform other acts necessary for the proper

28

functioning of the commission.

29

§ 1102.5.  Authority, qualification, training and identification

30

of investigative employees designated as law 

- 20 -

 


1

enforcement officers.

2

(a)  Authority.--An investigative employee of the commission

3

designated as a law enforcement officer shall have the law

4

enforcement power and authority, anywhere within this

5

Commonwealth, to enforce the following laws:

6

(1)  This chapter.

7

(2)  The act of July 10, 1968 (P.L.316, No.154), known as

8

the Legislative Code of Ethics.

9

(3)  Crimes related to public office or public employment

10

as defined in section 2 of the act of July 8, 1978 (P.L.752,

11

No.140), known as the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act,

12

except Federal offenses.

13

(b)  Qualifications.--An investigative employee shall be

14

qualified for appointment and designation as a law enforcement

15

officer if the employee:

16

(1)  Has successfully completed a Federal or State law

17

enforcement training program determined by the Commissioner

18

of the Pennsylvania State Police to be of sufficient scope

19

and duration to provide the participant with basic law

20

enforcement training.

21

(2)  Has not been convicted of a felony or an offense

22

graded a serious misdemeanor, as defined by the act of

23

January 29, 2004 (P.L.4, No.2), known as the Confidence in

24

Law Enforcement Act.

25

(3)  Has not been convicted of an offense in a

26

jurisdiction, state or country outside this Commonwealth in

27

accordance with the laws of that jurisdiction, state or

28

country and the offense is equivalent to an offense specified

29

in paragraph (2), regardless of its grading in that

30

jurisdiction, state or country.

- 21 -

 


1

(c)  Continuing education.--With the assistance of the

2

Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, the commission

3

shall develop a program of ongoing law enforcement education for

4

investigative employees designated as law enforcement officers.

5

(d)  Firearms.--

6

(1)  The commission shall develop regulations and

7

procedures for the use and possession of firearms by

8

investigative employees designated as law enforcement

9

officers, including the type of firearms permitted and the

10

circumstances under which an investigative employee would be

11

permitted to possess or use a firearm.

12

(2)  No commission investigative employee may possess or

13

use a firearm in the course of the employee's commission

14

duties unless he holds a current valid certification in the

15

use and handling of firearms under one of the following:

16

(i)  53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 Subch. D (relating to

17

municipal police education and training).

18

(ii)  The act of February 9, 1984 (P.L.3, No.2),

19

known as the Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Act.

20

(iii)  Another firearms program determined by the

21

Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police to be of

22

sufficient scope and duration as to provide the

23

participant with basic training in the use and handling

24

of firearms.

25

(e)  Badge.--Every investigative employee of the commission

26

designated as a law enforcement officer shall possess a metallic

27

badge with the words "Public Integrity Commission Officer"

28

inscribed on it.

29

§ 1102.6.  Photo identification.

30

Regardless of whether or not they have been designated law

- 22 -

 


1

enforcement officers, individuals appointed as investigative

2

employees of the commission shall have photo identification

3

cards issued by the commission containing the following:

4

(1)  A photo of the individual taken within the previous

5

24 months.

6

(2)  The name of the individual.

7

(3)  The signature of the individual.

8

(4)  The words "Public Integrity Commission."

9

(5)  The date of issuance of the photo identification

10

card.

11

§ 1102.7.  Immunity of witnesses.

12

(a)  General rule.--Notwithstanding 42 Pa.C.S. § 5947

13

(relating to immunity of witnesses), immunity orders shall be

14

available under this section in proceedings before the

15

commission involving an investigation into public corruption.

16

(b)  Request and issuance.--The commission may request an

17

immunity order from a judge of the court and that judge shall

18

issue the order when in the judgment of the commission the

19

following criteria are satisfied:

20

(1)  The testimony or other information from a witness

21

may be necessary to the public interest.

22

(2)  A witness has refused or is likely to refuse to

23

testify or provide other information on the basis of using

24

the privilege against self-incrimination.

25

(c)  Order to testify.--Whenever a witness refuses to testify

26

or provide other information in a proceeding specified in

27

subsection (a) on the basis of the privilege against self-

28

incrimination and the person presiding at the proceeding

29

communicates to the witness an immunity order, the witness shall

30

not refuse to testify based on his privilege against self-

- 23 -

 


1

incrimination.

2

(d)  Limitation on use.--No testimony or other information

3

compelled under an immunity order or information directly or

4

indirectly derived from the testimony or other information shall

5

be used against a witness in a criminal case except the

6

information may be used:

7

(1)  in a prosecution under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4902 (relating

8

to perjury) or 4903 (relating to false swearing);

9

(2)  in a contempt proceeding for failure to comply with

10

an immunity order; or

11

(3)  as evidence in a proceeding where the witness is not

12

a criminal defendant where otherwise admissible.

13

(e)  Civil contempt.--Persons failing to comply with an

14

immunity order during the course of a proceeding, investigation

15

or issuance of a report may be adjudged in civil contempt and

16

compelled to comply upon appropriate sanction imposed by the

17

court. The sanction may include commitment to the county jail

18

until such time as the person purges himself or herself of

19

contempt. Persons may purge themselves of contempt by complying

20

with the immunity order:

21

(1)  before the commission, prior to completion of the

22

proceeding, investigation or report; or

23

(2)  before the court which issued the order, if the

24

proceeding, investigation or report has been completed.

25

(f)  Criminal contempt.--In addition to civil contempt as

26

provided in subsection (e), a person who fails to comply with an

27

immunity order shall be guilty of criminal contempt and upon

28

conviction be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $5,000 or

29

to imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

30

(g)  Notice, consultation and opportunity to object.--Prior

- 24 -

 


1

to seeking an immunity order, the commission shall require its

2

chief counsel to consult with the district attorney of an

3

affected county, the Attorney General and the United States

4

Attorney of an affected district in order to prevent

5

interference with an ongoing investigation. The results of the

6

consultation shall be reported to the commission before an

7

immunity order is sought under this section. The commission

8

shall give notice to a district attorney of an affected county,

9

the Attorney General or the United States Attorney of an

10

affected district of a request for an immunity order to be

11

submitted to a judge of the court. The foregoing officers may

12

appear as a party and request a reasonable delay or denial of

13

the grant of immunity if an immediate grant would jeopardize an

14

investigation or prosecution. In a proceeding under this

15

section, the judge may delay or deny the request for immunity if

16

the judge  determines, in the exercise of judicial discretion,

17

that an immunity order will jeopardize an actual or pending

18

investigation or prosecution.

19

§ 1102.8.  Enforcement of subpoenas.

20

(a)  Application.--Upon the failure of a person subpoenaed

21

under section 1102.4(3) (relating to powers and duties of

22

commission) to obey the command of the subpoena or to be sworn

23

or affirmed or to testify, an application may be made to the

24

court for the enforcement of the subpoena.

25

(b)  Contempt.--If a person who has been ordered by the court

26

to comply with a subpoena issued under section 1102.4(3) fails

27

to obey the command of the order, an application may be made to

28

the court for the person to be brought before the court

29

authorized to proceed against the person for civil contempt of

30

court.

- 25 -

 


1

Section 4.  Sections 1103 and 1104 of Title 65 are amended to

2

read:

3

§ 1103.  Restricted activities.

4

(a)  Conflict of interest.--No public official or public

5

employee shall engage in conduct that constitutes a conflict of

6

interest.

7

(b)  Seeking improper influence.--No person shall offer or

8

give to a public official, public employee or nominee or

9

candidate for public office or a member of his or her immediate

10

family or a business with which [he] the public official, public

11

employee or nominee or candidate for public office is associated

12

anything of monetary value, including a gift, loan, political

13

contribution, reward or promise of future employment based on

14

the offeror's or donor's understanding that the vote, official

15

action or judgment of the public official or public employee or

16

nominee or candidate for public office would be influenced

17

thereby.

18

(c)  Accepting improper influence.--No public official,

19

public employee or nominee or candidate for public office shall

20

solicit or accept anything of monetary value, including a gift,

21

loan, political contribution, reward or promise of future

22

employment, based on any understanding of that public official,

23

public employee or nominee that the vote, official action or

24

judgment of the public official or public employee or nominee or

25

candidate for public office would be influenced thereby.

26

(d)  Honorarium.--No public official or public employee shall

27

accept an honorarium.

28

(e)  Contingent and severance payments.--

29

(1)  No person shall solicit or accept a severance

30

payment or anything of monetary value contingent upon the

- 26 -

 


1

assumption or acceptance of public office or employment.

2

(2)  This subsection shall not prohibit:

3

(i)  Payments received pursuant to an employment

4

agreement in existence prior to the time a person becomes

5

a candidate or is notified by a member of a transition

6

team, a search committee or a person with appointive

7

power that [he] the person is under consideration for

8

public office or makes application for public employment.

9

(ii)  Receipt of a salary, fees, severance payment or

10

proceeds resulting from the sale of a person's interest

11

in a corporation, professional corporation, partnership

12

or other entity resulting from termination or withdrawal

13

therefrom upon the assumption or acceptance of public

14

office or employment.

15

(3)  Payments made or received pursuant to paragraph (2)

16

(i) and (ii) shall not be based on the agreement, written or

17

otherwise, that the vote or official action of the

18

prospective public official or employee would be influenced

19

thereby.

20

(f)  Contract.--No public official or public employee or

21

[his] spouse or child of the public official or public employee 

22

or any business in which the person [or his], spouse or child is

23

associated shall enter into any contract valued at $500 or more

24

with the governmental body with which the public official or

25

public employee is associated or any subcontract valued at $500

26

or more with any person who has been awarded a contract with the

27

governmental body with which the public official or public

28

employee is associated unless the contract has been awarded

29

through an open and public process, including prior public

30

notice and subsequent public disclosure of all proposals

- 27 -

 


1

considered and contracts awarded. In such a case, the public

2

official or public employee shall not have any supervisory or

3

overall responsibility for the implementation or administration

4

of the contract. Any contract or subcontract made in violation

5

of this subsection shall be voidable by a court of competent

6

jurisdiction if the suit is commenced within 90 days of the

7

making of the contract or subcontract.

8

(g)  Former official or employee.--No former public official

9

or public employee shall represent a person, with promised or

10

actual compensation, on any matter before the governmental body

11

with which [he] the former public official or public employee 

12

has been associated for one year after [he] the former public

13

official or public employee leaves that body.

14

(h)  Misuse of statement of financial interest.--No person

15

shall use for any commercial purpose information copied from

16

statements of financial interests required by this chapter or

17

from lists compiled from such statements.

18

(i)  Former executive-level employee.--No former executive-

19

level State employee may for a period of two years from the time

20

that [he] the executive-level State employee terminates

21

employment with this Commonwealth be employed by, receive

22

compensation from, assist or act in a representative capacity

23

for a business or corporation that [he] the former executive-

24

level State employee actively participated in recruiting to this

25

Commonwealth or that [he] the former executive-level State

26

employee actively participated in inducing to open a new plant,

27

facility or branch in this Commonwealth or that he actively

28

participated in inducing to expand an existent plant or facility

29

within this Commonwealth, provided that the above prohibition

30

shall be invoked only when the recruitment or inducement is

- 28 -

 


1

accomplished by a grant or loan of money or a promise of a grant

2

or loan of money from the Commonwealth to the business or

3

corporation recruited or induced to expand.

4

(j)  Voting conflict.--Where voting conflicts are not

5

otherwise addressed by the Constitution of Pennsylvania or by

6

any law, rule, regulation, order or ordinance, the following

7

procedure shall be employed. Any public official or public

8

employee who in the discharge of [his] official duties would be

9

required to vote on a matter that would result in a conflict of

10

interest shall abstain from voting and, prior to the vote being

11

taken, publicly announce and disclose the nature of [his] the 

12

interest as a public record in a written memorandum filed with

13

the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting

14

at which the vote is taken, provided that whenever a governing

15

body would be unable to take any action on a matter before it

16

because the number of members of the body required to abstain

17

from voting under the provisions of this section makes the

18

majority or other legally required vote of approval

19

unattainable, then such members shall be permitted to vote if

20

disclosures are made as otherwise provided herein. In the case

21

of a three-member governing body of a political subdivision,

22

where one member has abstained from voting as a result of a

23

conflict of interest and the remaining two members of the

24

governing body have cast opposing votes, the member who has

25

abstained shall be permitted to vote to break the tie vote if

26

disclosure is made as otherwise provided herein.

27

§ 1104.  Statement of financial interests required to be filed.

28

(a)  Public official or public employee.--Each public

29

official of the Commonwealth shall file a statement of financial

30

interests for the preceding calendar year with the commission no

- 29 -

 


1

later than May 1 of each year that [he] the public official 

2

holds such a position and of the year after [he leaves such a]

3

leaving the position. Each public employee and public official

4

of the Commonwealth shall file a statement of financial

5

interests for the preceding calendar year with the department,

6

agency, body or bureau [in which he] where the public employee

7

is employed or to which [he] the public official is appointed or

8

elected no later than May 1 of each year that [he holds such a

9

position] the position is held by the public official or public

10

employee and of the year after [he leaves such a] leaving the 

11

position. Any other public employee or public official shall

12

file a statement of financial interests with the governing

13

authority of the political subdivision [by which he is] where 

14

employed [or within which he is], appointed or elected no later

15

than May 1 of each year [that he holds such a] when holding the 

16

position and of the year after [he leaves such a] leaving the 

17

position. Persons who are full-time or part-time solicitors for

18

political subdivisions are required to file under this section.

19

(b)  Candidate.--

20

(1)  Any candidate for a State-level public office shall

21

file a statement of financial interests for the preceding

22

calendar year with the commission on or before the last day

23

for filing a petition to appear on the ballot for election. A

24

copy of the statement of financial interests shall also be

25

appended to such petition.

26

(2)  Any candidate for county-level or local office shall

27

file a statement of financial interests for the preceding

28

calendar year with the governing authority of the political

29

subdivision in which [he is a candidate] the candidate is

30

running on or before the last day for filing a petition to

- 30 -

 


1

appear on the ballot for election. A copy of the statement of

2

financial interests shall also be appended to such petition.

3

(3)  No petition to appear on the ballot for election

4

shall be accepted by the respective State or local election

5

officials unless the petition has appended thereto a

6

statement of financial interests as set forth in paragraphs

7

(1) and (2). Failure to file the statement in accordance with

8

the provisions of this chapter shall, in addition to any

9

other penalties provided, be a fatal defect to a petition to

10

appear on the ballot.

11

(c)  Nominee.--Each State-level nominee for public office

12

shall file a statement of financial interests for the preceding

13

calendar year with the commission and with the official or body

14

that is vested with the power of confirmation at least ten days

15

before the official or body shall approve or reject the

16

nomination. Each nominee for a county-level or local office

17

shall file a statement of financial interests for the preceding

18

calendar year with the governing authority of the political

19

subdivision in which he or she is a nominee and, if different,

20

with the official or body that is vested with the power of

21

confirmation at least ten days before the official or body shall

22

approve or reject the nomination.

23

(d)  Failure to file required statement.--No public official

24

shall be allowed to take the oath of office or enter or continue

25

upon [his duties] the duties of the office, nor shall [he] the

26

public official receive compensation from public funds, unless

27

[he] the public official has filed a statement of financial

28

interests as required by this chapter.

29

(e)  Public inspection and copying.--All statements of

30

financial interests filed pursuant to the provisions of this

- 31 -

 


1

chapter shall be made available for public inspection and

2

copying during regular office hours, and copying facilities

3

shall be made available at a charge not to exceed actual cost.

4

Section 5.  Sections 1106 and 1107 of Title 65 are repealed:

5

[§ 1106.  State Ethics Commission.

6

(a)  Continuation of commission.--The State Ethics Commission

7

established under the act of October 4, 1978 (P.L.883, No.170),

8

referred to as the Public Official and Employee Ethics Law, is

9

continued and shall be composed of seven members. The President

10

pro tempore of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate,

11

the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader of the House

12

shall each appoint one member. Three members shall be appointed

13

by the Governor without confirmation. No more than two of the

14

members appointed by the Governor shall be of the same political

15

party. No appointee shall have served as an officer in a

16

political party for one year prior to his appointment.

17

(b)  Term of service.--Members of the commission shall serve

18

for terms of three years, except that members shall continue to

19

serve until their successors are appointed and qualified.

20

(c)  Maximum number of terms.--No member shall be appointed

21

to more than two full three-year terms on the commission.

22

(d)  Prohibited activities.--No individual while a member or

23

employee of the commission shall:

24

(1)  hold or campaign for any other public office;

25

(2)  hold office in any political party or political

26

committee;

27

(3)  actively participate in or contribute to any

28

political campaign;

29

(4)  directly or indirectly attempt to influence any

30

decision by a governmental body other than a court of law or

- 32 -

 


1

as a representative of the commission on a matter within the

2

jurisdiction of the commission; or

3

(5)  be employed by the Commonwealth or a political

4

subdivision in any other capacity, whether or not for

5

compensation.

6

(e)  Vacancy.--A majority of the commission by resolution

7

shall declare vacant the position on the commission of any

8

member who takes part in activities prohibited by subsection

9

(d). An individual appointed to fill a vacancy occurring other

10

than by the expiration of a term of office shall be appointed

11

for the unexpired term of the member he succeeds and is eligible

12

for appointment to two full three-year terms thereafter. Any

13

vacancy occurring on the commission shall be filled within 30

14

days in the manner in which that position was originally filled.

15

(f)  Election of chairman and vice chairman.--The commission

16

shall elect a chairman and a vice chairman. The vice chairman

17

shall act as chairman in the absence of the chairman or in the

18

event of a vacancy in that position.

19

(g)  Quorum.--Four members of the commission shall constitute

20

a quorum, and, except as provided in section 1108(g) (relating

21

to investigations by commission), the votes of a majority of the

22

members present are required for any action or recommendation of

23

the commission. The chairman or any four members of the

24

commission may call a meeting provided that advance written

25

notice is mailed to each member and to any person who requests

26

notice of such meetings.

27

(h)  Compensation.--Members of the commission shall be

28

compensated at a rate of $250 per day and shall receive

29

reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses while

30

performing the business of the commission.

- 33 -

 


1

(i)  Staff.--The commission shall employ an executive

2

director, a chief counsel and such other staff as are necessary

3

to carry out its duties pursuant to this chapter. The executive

4

director shall be responsible for the administrative operations

5

of the commission and shall perform such other duties as may be

6

delegated or assigned to him by the commission, except that the

7

commission shall not delegate the making of regulations to the

8

executive director. The chief counsel shall be the chief legal

9

officer of the commission. The commission may obtain the

10

services of experts and consultants as necessary to carry out

11

its duties pursuant to this chapter. The State Treasurer and the

12

Attorney General shall make available to the commission such

13

personnel, facilities and other assistance as the commission may

14

request.

15

(j)  Regulations.--The commission shall develop regulations

16

that provide for a code of conduct to govern the activities and

17

ethical standards of its members, which code shall subject the

18

members of the commission to no less than is required for public

19

officials or public employees under this chapter.

20

§ 1107.  Powers and duties of commission.

21

In addition to other powers and duties prescribed by law, the

22

commission shall:

23

(1)  Prescribe and publish rules and regulations to carry

24

out the provisions of this chapter.

25

(2)  Prescribe forms for statements and reports required

26

to be filed by this chapter and furnish such forms to persons

27

required to file such statements and reports.

28

(3)  Prepare and publish guidelines setting forth

29

recommended uniform methods of accounting and reporting for

30

use by persons required to file statements and reports by

- 34 -

 


1

this chapter.

2

(4)  Accept and file any information voluntarily supplied

3

that exceeds the requirements of this chapter.

4

(5)  Inspect statements of financial interests which have

5

been filed in order to ascertain whether any reporting person

6

has failed to file such a statement or has filed a deficient

7

statement. If, upon inspection, it is determined that a

8

reporting person has failed to file a statement of financial

9

interests or that any statement which has been filed fails to

10

conform with the requirements of section 1105 (relating to

11

statement of financial interests), then the commission shall

12

in writing notify the person. Such notice shall state in

13

detail the deficiency and the penalties for failure to file

14

or for filing a deficient statement of financial interests.

15

(6)  Provide that statements and reports filed with the

16

commission be made available for public inspection and

17

copying during regular office hours and provide that copying

18

facilities be made available at a charge not to exceed actual

19

cost and advise other State and local agencies of the

20

provisions of this paragraph.

21

(7)  Compile and maintain an index of all reports and

22

statements filed with the commission to facilitate public

23

access to such reports and statements and instruct other

24

State and local agencies which receive and file financial

25

interest statements in the maintenance of systems which

26

facilitate public access to such statements.

27

(8)  Prepare and publish annual summaries of statements

28

and reports filed with the commission.

29

(9)  Preserve statements and reports filed with the

30

commission for a period of five years from date of receipt

- 35 -

 


1

and advise other State and local agencies which receive and

2

store financial interest statements to preserve such

3

statements for a period of five years from date of receipt.

4

(10)  Issue to any person upon such person's request or

5

to the appointing authority or employer of that person upon

6

the request of such appointing authority or employer an

7

opinion with respect to such person's duties under this

8

chapter. The commission shall, within 14 days, either issue

9

the opinion or advise the person who made the request whether

10

an opinion will be issued. No person who acts in good faith

11

on an opinion issued to him by the commission shall be

12

subject to criminal or civil penalties for so acting,

13

provided that the material facts are as stated in the opinion

14

request. The commission's opinions shall be public records

15

and may from time to time be published. The person requesting

16

the opinion may, however, require that the opinion shall

17

contain such deletions and changes as shall be necessary to

18

protect the identity of the persons involved.

19

(11)  Provide written advice to any person or the

20

appointing authority or employer of such person upon their

21

request with respect to such person's duties under this

22

chapter. Such advice shall be provided within 21 working days

23

of the request, provided that the time may be extended for

24

good cause. It shall be a complete defense in any enforcement

25

proceeding initiated by the commission and evidence of good

26

faith conduct in any other civil or criminal proceeding if

27

the requester, at least 21 working days prior to the alleged

28

violation, requested written advice from the commission in

29

good faith, disclosed truthfully all the material facts and

30

committed the acts complained of either in reliance on the

- 36 -

 


1

advice or because of the failure of the commission to provide

2

advice within 21 days of the request or such later extended

3

time. The person requesting the advice may, however, require

4

that the advice shall contain such deletions and changes as

5

shall be necessary to protect the identity of the persons

6

involved.

7

(12)  Initiate an inquiry pursuant to section 1108(a)

8

(relating to investigations by commission) where a complaint

9

has not been filed but where there is a reasonable belief

10

that a conflict may exist.

11

(13)  Issue findings, reports and orders relating to

12

investigations initiated pursuant to section 1108 which set

13

forth the alleged violation, findings of fact and conclusions

14

of law. An order may include recommendations to law

15

enforcement officials. Any order resulting from a finding

16

that a public official or public employee has obtained a

17

financial gain in violation of this chapter may require the

18

restitution plus interest of that gain to the appropriate

19

governmental body. The commission or the Office of Attorney

20

General shall have standing to apply to the Commonwealth

21

Court to seek enforcement of an order requiring such

22

restitution. This restitution requirement shall be in

23

addition to any other penalties provided for in this chapter.

24

(14)  Hold hearings, take testimony, issue subpoenas and

25

compel the attendance of witnesses.

26

(15)  Make recommendations to law enforcement officials

27

either for criminal prosecution or dismissal of charges

28

arising out of violations of this chapter.

29

(16)  Prepare and publish special reports, educational

30

materials and technical studies to further the purposes of

- 37 -

 


1

this chapter.

2

(17)  Prepare and publish prior to June 1 of each year an

3

annual report summarizing the activities of the commission.

4

(18)  Transmit, free of charge, copies of each order,

5

advice and opinion which has become a matter of public record

6

quarterly to the law library of each county, one public

7

library in each county, the State Library, the State Senate

8

Library, each authority appointing commission members under

9

this chapter, the Pennsylvania Association of County

10

Commissioners, the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs, the

11

Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the

12

Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners, the

13

Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania

14

League of Cities.

15

(19)  Hold at least two public hearings each year, of

16

which at least one shall be held in Harrisburg and at least

17

one shall be held in a location other than Harrisburg, to

18

seek input from persons and organizations who represent any

19

individual subject to the provisions of this chapter and from

20

other interested parties.]

21

Section 6.  Sections 1108 and 1109(c) and (f) of Title 65 are

22

amended to read:

23

§ 1108.  Investigations of violations of this chapter by

24

commission.

25

(a)  Preliminary inquiry.--Upon a complaint signed under

26

penalty of perjury by any person or upon its own motion, the

27

commission[, through its executive director,] shall conduct a

28

preliminary inquiry into any alleged violation of [this chapter]

29

section 1103 (relating to restricted activities), 1104 (relating

30

to statement of financial interests required to be filed),

- 38 -

 


1

1105(a) (relating to statement of financial interests) or this

2

section. The commission shall keep information, records and

3

proceedings relating to a preliminary inquiry confidential. The

4

commission shall, however, have the authority to refer the case

5

[to law enforcement officials] for prosecution during a

6

preliminary inquiry or anytime thereafter without providing

7

notice to the subject of the inquiry. The commission shall

8

complete its preliminary inquiry within 60 days of its

9

initiation.

10

(b)  Termination of preliminary inquiry.--If a preliminary

11

inquiry fails to establish reason to believe that [this chapter

12

has] section 1103, 1104, 1105(a) or this section has been

13

violated, the commission shall terminate the inquiry and so

14

notify the complainant and the person who had been the subject

15

of the inquiry. If the commission determines that a complaint is

16

frivolous, it shall so state.

17

(c)  Initiation of investigation.--If a preliminary inquiry

18

establishes reason to believe that [this chapter has] section

19

1103, 1104, 1105(a) or this section has been violated, the

20

commission may, through its executive director, initiate an

21

investigation to determine if there has been a violation. The

22

commission shall keep information, records and proceedings

23

relating to an investigation confidential until a final

24

determination is made, except as otherwise provided in

25

subsection (g). No investigation may be commenced until the

26

person who is the subject of the investigation has been notified

27

and provided a general statement of the alleged violation or

28

violations of this chapter and other applicable statutes with

29

respect to such investigation. Service of notice is complete

30

upon mailing which shall be by certified or registered mail. The

- 39 -

 


1

commission shall notify the complainant within 72 hours of the

2

commencement of an investigation, and, thereafter, the

3

commission shall advise the complainant and the person who is

4

the subject of the investigation of the status of the

5

investigation at least every 90 days until the investigation is

6

terminated. The commission shall, within 180 days of the

7

initiation of an investigation, either terminate the

8

investigation pursuant to subsection (d) or issue a findings

9

report pursuant to subsection (e). Upon a showing by the

10

executive director of the need for extension of this period, the

11

commission may extend an investigation for up to two 90-day

12

periods, provided that each 90-day extension shall be approved

13

by a majority vote of members present. In no event shall a

14

findings report be issued later than 360 days after initiation

15

of an investigation.

16

(d)  Termination of investigation.--If an investigation

17

conducted under this [chapter] section indicates that no

18

violation has been committed, the commission shall immediately

19

terminate the investigation and send written notice of such

20

determination to the complainant and the person who was the

21

subject of the investigation.

22

(e)  Findings report.--The commission, upon the completion of

23

an investigation under this section, shall issue a findings

24

report to the subject of the investigation setting forth the

25

pertinent findings of fact. The subject shall have the right to

26

respond to said findings and to request an evidentiary hearing

27

on said matter. The commission shall grant any request for a

28

hearing. Said hearing shall be held in Harrisburg or, at the

29

request of the subject, in either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

30

Any response to the findings report must either admit or deny by

- 40 -

 


1

corresponding number and letter the pertinent facts set forth.

2

The subject of the investigation shall have access to any

3

evidence intended to be used by the commission at the hearing

4

and any exculpatory evidence developed by the commission in the

5

course of its investigation. Matters not specifically denied in

6

the response shall be deemed admitted. The response must be

7

filed within 30 days of the issuance of the findings report

8

unless the time period is extended by the commission for good

9

cause shown. Hearings conducted upon request shall be instituted

10

within 45 days after the filing of the response.

11

(f)  Final order.--Within 30 days of the receipt by the

12

commission of the hearing record or, if no hearing is to be

13

held, within 30 days of the receipt by the commission of the

14

response to the findings report, the commission shall issue an

15

order which shall be final. Upon receipt of a final order, the

16

subject shall have the right to file a petition for

17

reconsideration in accordance with the regulations of the

18

commission.

19

(g)  Procedure for hearing.--Hearings conducted pursuant to

20

this section concerning an allegation that section 1103, 1104,

21

1105(a) or this section has been violated shall be closed to the

22

public unless the subject requests an open hearing. Any person

23

who appears before the commission shall have all of the due

24

process rights, privileges and responsibilities of a party or

25

witness appearing before an administrative agency of this

26

Commonwealth. All witnesses summoned for such hearings shall

27

receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses in accordance with

28

42 Pa.C.S. § 5903 (relating to compensation and expenses of

29

witnesses). At the conclusion of a hearing concerning an alleged

30

violation and in a timely manner, the commission shall

- 41 -

 


1

deliberate on the evidence and determine whether there has been

2

a violation of [this chapter] section 1103, 1104, 1105(a) or

3

this section. At least four members of the commission present at

4

a meeting must find a violation by clear and convincing proof.

5

The names of the members finding a violation and the names of

6

those dissenting and abstaining shall be listed in the order.

7

The determination of the commission, in the form of a final

8

order and findings of fact, shall be a matter of public record.

9

(h)  Availability of final orders, files and records.--Orders

10

which become final in accordance with the provisions of this

11

section shall be available as public documents, but the files

12

and records of the commission relating to the case shall remain

13

confidential.

14

(i)  Appeal.--Any person aggrieved by an opinion or order

15

which becomes final in accordance with the provisions of this

16

[chapter] section who has direct interest in such opinion or

17

order shall have the right to appeal therefrom in accordance

18

with law and general rules.

19

(j)  Retaliation prohibited.--No public official or public

20

employee shall discharge any official or employee or change his

21

official rank, grade or compensation or deny him a promotion or

22

threaten to do so for filing a complaint with or providing

23

information to the commission or testifying in any commission

24

proceeding. No member of the commission and no employee of the

25

commission shall discharge any employee of the commission or

26

change his official rank, grade or compensation or threaten to

27

do so for providing any information about the internal

28

operations of the commission, not required by law to be kept

29

secret, to any legislator or legislative staff member or

30

testifying in any legislative proceeding.

- 42 -

 


1

(k)  Confidentiality.--As a general rule, no person shall

2

disclose or acknowledge to any other person any information

3

relating to a complaint, preliminary inquiry, investigation,

4

hearing or petition for reconsideration which is before the

5

commission. However, a person may disclose or acknowledge to

6

another person matters held confidential in accordance with this

7

subsection when the matters pertain to any of the following:

8

(1)  final orders of the commission as provided in

9

subsection (h);

10

(2)  hearings conducted in public pursuant to subsection

11

(g);

12

(3)  for the purpose of seeking advice of legal counsel;

13

(4)  filing an appeal from a commission order;

14

(5)  communicating with the commission or its staff, in

15

the course of a preliminary inquiry, investigation, hearing

16

or petition for reconsideration by the commission;

17

(6)  consulting with a law enforcement official or agency

18

for the purpose of initiating, participating in or responding

19

to an investigation or prosecution by the law enforcement

20

official or agency;

21

(7)  testifying under oath before a governmental body or

22

a similar body of the United States of America;

23

(8)  any information, records or proceedings relating to

24

a complaint, preliminary inquiry, investigation, hearing or

25

petition for reconsideration which the person is the subject

26

of; or

27

(9)  such other exceptions as the commission by

28

regulation may direct.

29

(l)  Frivolous complaints and wrongful disclosure.--If a

30

public official or public employee has reason to believe the

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1

complaint for a violation of section 1103, 1104, 1105(a) or this

2

section is frivolous as defined by this chapter, or without

3

probable cause and made primarily for a purpose other than that

4

of reporting a violation of this chapter, or a person publicly

5

disclosed or caused to be disclosed that a complaint against the

6

public official or public employee has been filed with the

7

commission, the public official or public employee shall notify

8

the commission and the commission, through its executive

9

director, shall conduct an investigation.

10

(m)  Limitation of time.--The commission may conduct an

11

investigation under this section within five years after the

12

alleged occurrence of any violation of this chapter.

13

§ 1109.  Penalties.

14

* * *

15

(c)  Treble damages.--Any person who obtains financial gain

16

from violating any provision of [this chapter] section 1103

17

(relating to restricted activities), 1104 (relating to statement

18

of financial interests required to be filed), 1105(a) (relating

19

to statement of financial interests) or 1108 (relating to

20

investigations of violations of this chapter by commission), in

21

addition to any other penalty provided by law, shall pay a sum

22

of money equal to three times the amount of the financial gain

23

resulting from such violation into the State Treasury or the

24

treasury of the political subdivision. Treble damages shall not

25

be assessed against a person who acted in good faith reliance on

26

the advice of legal counsel.

27

* * *

28

(f)  Civil penalty.--In addition to any other civil remedy or

29

criminal penalty provided for in this chapter, the commission

30

may, after notice has been served in accordance with section

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1

[1107(5)] 1102.4(9) (relating to powers and duties of

2

commission) and upon a majority vote of its members, levy a

3

civil penalty upon any person subject to this chapter who fails

4

to file a statement of financial interests in a timely manner or

5

who files a deficient statement of financial interests, at a

6

rate of not more than $25 for each day such statement remains

7

delinquent or deficient. The maximum penalty payable under this

8

paragraph is $250.

9

* * *

10

Section 7.  Title 65 is amended by adding a section to read:

11

§ 1109.1.  Costs, restitution and forfeiture.

12

(a)  Commission share.--The commission shall be entitled to

13

an equitable share, as determined by the court, of:

14

(1)  Assets seized or forfeited as a result, in whole or

15

part, of an investigation by the commission.

16

(2)  Award of costs of prosecution or other fees or costs

17

awarded as a result of a conviction for any criminal offense

18

based, in whole or part, on an investigation by the

19

commission. This shall include an equitable share of any

20

costs of prosecution awarded as part of an order of

21

restitution under section 4 of the act of July 8, 1978

22

(P.L.752, No.140), known as the Public Employee Pension

23

Forfeiture Act.

24

(b)  Fund.--The Public Integrity Commission Fund is

25

established as a special restricted receipt account within

26

the General Fund of the State Treasury. The account shall be

27

used to fund the commission. Money credited to the account,

28

including any money awarded under subsection (a) and any

29

investment income accrued are appropriated on a continuing

30

basis to the commission.

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1

Section 8.  Section 1110 of Title 65 is amended to read:

2

§ 1110.  Wrongful use of chapter.

3

(a)  Liability.--A person who signs a complaint alleging a

4

violation of [this chapter] section 1103 (relating to restricted

5

activities), 1104 (relating to statement of financial interests

6

required to be filed), 1105(a) (relating to statement of

7

financial interests) or 1108 (relating to investigations of

8

violations of this chapter by commission) against another is

9

subject to liability for wrongful use of this chapter if:

10

(1)  the complaint was frivolous, as defined by this

11

chapter, or without probable cause and made primarily for a

12

purpose other than that of reporting a violation of this

13

chapter; or

14

(2)  he publicly disclosed or caused to be disclosed that

15

a complaint against a person had been filed with the

16

commission.

17

(b)  Probable cause.--A person who signs a complaint alleging

18

a violation of [this chapter] section 1103, 1104, 1105(a) or

19

1108 has probable cause for doing so if he reasonably believes

20

in the existence of the facts upon which the claim is based and

21

either:

22

(1)  reasonably believes that under those facts the

23

complaint may be valid under this chapter; or

24

(2)  believes to this effect in reliance upon the advice

25

of counsel, sought in good faith and given after full

26

disclosure of all relevant facts within his knowledge and

27

information.

28

(c)  Commission procedures.--When the commission determines

29

that a complainant has violated the provisions set forth in

30

subsection (a), the commission, upon receiving a written request

- 46 -

 


1

from the subject of the complaint, shall provide the name and

2

address of the complainant to said subject. If the commission

3

determines that a complainant has not violated the provisions of

4

subsection (a), the commission shall notify the subject

5

accordingly. The subject shall have the right to appeal the

6

commission's determination, and the commission shall schedule an

7

appeal hearing. The subject shall show cause why the complainant

8

violated the provisions of this section. If the commission

9

grants the appeal, the commission shall immediately release the

10

complainant's name and address to the subject. If the commission

11

denies the appeal, it shall present evidence why the

12

complainant's name and address shall not be released.

13

(d)  Damages.--When the essential elements of an action

14

brought pursuant to this section have been established, the

15

plaintiff is entitled to recover for the following:

16

(1)  The harm to his reputation by a defamatory matter

17

alleged as the basis of the proceeding.

18

(2)  The expenses, including any reasonable attorney

19

fees, that he has reasonably incurred in proceedings before

20

the commission.

21

(3)  Any specific pecuniary loss that has resulted from

22

the proceedings.

23

(4)  Any emotional distress that has been caused by the

24

proceedings.

25

(5)  Any punitive damages according to law in appropriate

26

cases.

27

Section 9.  Title 65 is amended by adding sections to read:

28

§ 1110.1.  Disclosure of executive session testimony and

29

investigative records.

30

No testimony taken in executive session, a part thereof or a

- 47 -

 


1

summary thereof and no investigative record, a part thereof or a

2

summary thereof, shall be released or disclosed to a person

3

either orally or in writing by a commissioner or employee of the

4

commission without the authorization of the commission.

5

§ 1110.2.  Privileged statements and reports.

6

A statement or disclosure of information made by a

7

commissioner or an employee of the commission during the course

8

of a hearing or official proceeding and a report issued by the

9

commission before the General Assembly or to another law

10

enforcement agency shall be absolutely privileged. The privilege

11

shall be an absolute defense to an action for invasion of

12

privacy, defamation or other civil or criminal action.

13

§ 1110.3.  Commission disclosure of economic interests.

14

(a)  Disclosure statement.--As of the date of appointment to

15

the commission and on or before March 15 of each following year,

16

each commissioner shall file with the Governor, the Secretary of

17

the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives

18

for the preceding calendar year a sworn statement of economic

19

interests. The economic interests statement shall contain the

20

information required under subsection (e). Once the economic

21

interests statement has been filed under this chapter, the

22

statement shall be updated annually by filing a supplemental

23

statement. The economic interests of a spouse or child of a

24

commissioner who is under 18 years of age shall be deemed an

25

economic interest of a commissioner.

26

(b)  Record.--The Governor, the Secretary of the Senate and

27

the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives shall maintain

28

the economic interests statements filed by commissioners as

29

public records which shall be open for public examination and

30

copying, at cost, at all reasonable times. The economic

- 48 -

 


1

interests statements shall remain on file for five years from

2

the initial date of filing.

3

(c)  Requirements.--The commission shall promulgate

4

regulations to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin

5

regarding economic disclosure requirements for employees of the

6

commission.

7

(d)  Penalties.--In addition to other penalties imposed by

8

law for false swearing, neglect or refusal of a commissioner or

9

employee to file a complete and accurate economic interests

10

statement under the requirements of this section or the willful

11

filing of an inaccurate statement shall constitute misfeasance

12

in office in the case of commissioners and shall constitute

13

grounds for dismissal in the case of employees.

14

(e)  Contents.--The sworn economic interests statement shall

15

contain:

16

(1)  The identity of offices and directorships by name.

17

(2)  An identifying description of real estate in this

18

Commonwealth in which the commissioner or a member of the

19

commissioner's household has an interest, direct or indirect,

20

including an option to buy, provided that a commissioner's

21

primary place of residence shall not be included.

22

(3)  The name of each creditor to whom the commissioner

23

or a member of the commissioner's household owes money in

24

excess of $6,500, the category of the amount owed and the

25

interest rate, provided that loans or credit extended between

26

members of the immediate family and a mortgage upon the

27

commissioner's primary place of residence shall not be

28

included.

29

(4)  The name of each business, insurance policy or trust

30

in which the commissioner or a member of the commissioner's

- 49 -

 


1

household has a financial interest and the nature and

2

category of the amount of the interest.

3

(5)  The source, by name, and category of the amounts of

4

income in excess of $1,300, including capital gains, whether

5

or not taxable, received by the commissioner or a member of

6

the commissioner's household during the preceding year.

7

(6)  A list of businesses with which a commissioner is

8

associated that do business with or are regulated by the

9

Commonwealth and a description of the nature of the business

10

or regulation.

11

(7)  A salary, fee, commission or other income, listed in

12

dollar amount or value, received by a commissioner from a

13

political subdivision of this Commonwealth or an agency of

14

the Commonwealth, other than the commission, including the

15

name of the political subdivision or agency or from an entity

16

which maintains a person required to be registered as a

17

lobbyist under any law requiring the registration.

18

(f)  Amounts.--Where an amount is required to be reported by

19

category, the individual shall report whether the amount is less

20

than $5,000, at least $5,000 but less than $10,000, at least

21

$10,000 but less than $25,000 or $25,000 or more. An amount of

22

stock may be reported by number of shares instead of by category

23

of dollar value.

24

(g)  Additional disclosure.--No provision of this chapter

25

shall be interpreted to prevent a person from filing more

26

information or more detailed information than required on an

27

economic interests statement.

28

§ 1111.1.  Applicable statutes.

29

The provisions of Chs. 7 (relating to open meetings) and 11

30

(relating to ethics standards and financial disclosure) shall

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1

apply to the commission except as otherwise provided in this

2

chapter.

3

Section 10.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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