ShareThis Page
Allegheny County councilwomen could push for ethics reforms, controller says |

Allegheny County councilwomen could push for ethics reforms, controller says

Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
The Allegheny County Courthouse

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is pushing for changes to county ethics rules in light of statewide reforms Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday at the Allegheny County Courthouse, and at least one county councilwoman is supporting the effort.

The changes Wagner is suggesting include:

• Banning gifts to county officials, including event tickets from the Sports & Exhibition Authority, which owns Pittsburgh’s three professional sports venues;

• Enacting campaign contribution limits in line with those that exist in the City of Pittsburgh;

• Requiring disclosure of campaign contributions by firms seeking county contracts;

• Requiring county officials to disclose income from sources outside county government, and making such disclosures are publicly available. Currently, elected officials and some county employees under state law must submit that information annually via statements of financial interest forms, but the forms are not posted online.

Wagner has discussed the effort with county Councilwomen Anita Prizio, D-O’Hara, and Denise Renalli-Russell, D-Brighton Heights, according to a news release from her office.

Prizio is interested in the ideas, and plans to introduce legislation at some point, said Darwin Leuba, Prizio’s spokesman.

It will not likely be at the next council meeting March 20, he said.

“Transparency has always been at the forefront of Anita’s agenda,” Leuba said in a statement. “We’re currently discussing the best way to implement these transparency measures, and we hope to have a draft of legislation before the full council as soon as possible.”

Renalli-Russell did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

“These are long overdue protections for the integrity of our government and our tax dollars, and they are no less necessary to ensuring ethical government at the county level. I am hopeful that County Executive (Rich) Fitzgerald, who stood at the governor’s side as he announced his plan, will agree that we must get our own house in order, as well,” Wagner said in a news release.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, or via Twitter @tclift.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.