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Philadelphia Gets New Ethics Rules

August 13, 2004|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The mayor announced a new ethics policy for city employees Thursday, two months after his former treasurer was charged with accepting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from people interested in influencing city business decisions.

Mayor John F. Street signed an executive order Thursday that banned city employees from accepting gifts, meals or favors from anyone doing business or seeking to do business with the city.

He also impaneled a reconstituted city ethics board that would be empowered to root out ethics violations. The current ethics board, which was largely inactive, is being dissolved.

"The public must have faith in the integrity of its government," Street said.

Seventeen people face charges in a federal anti-corruption investigation that became public in October, when an FBI listening device was discovered in Street's office.

Street was not charged, but City Treasurer Corey Kemp was.

Investigators contend that Kemp, who resigned in November, accepted gifts including cash, Super Bowl tickets, meals, parties in his honor and a new deck for his house from a lawyer and several financial services companies seeking city contracts.

Kemp has pleaded not guilty.

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