The Philadelphia Daily News reports today that Governor Corbett has taken valuable gifts from people doing business with the Commonwealth in violation of the Governor's Code of Conduct that bans officials and state employees of the Executive Branch from taking such gifts. Here is the link to the story:
Attacking the rampant corruption in the Shapp Administration, Governor Thornburgh in 1980 made the Governor's Code of Conduct part of Pennsylvania's law. Here is the link to the law at 7 Pa. Code 151:
http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/004/chapter7/subchapKtoc.html. Amazingly, since he has shredded the Code, Governor Corbett has the Governor's Code of Conduct proudly displayed on his official website.
The Governor has made a huge mistake by repeatedly violating the Governor's Code of Conduct and his mistake threatens to corrupt the operations of state government, unless immediately corrected. Simply put, if it is permissible for the Governor to take valuable gifts from those doing business with the state, then why is it not permissible for all state employees in the Executive branch to do the same?
The Governor can insure the integrity of the Executive branch by issuing a strong statement saying that the Governor's Code of Conduct is in force; that he will follow it; and that he will require all officials and employees in the Executive Branch to do so. He also must payback the gifts taken in violation of the Governor's Code of Conduct.
In the case of Mr. Moran who is a large political donor to Corbett and who reportedly also provided a vacation in Newport, Rhode Island to the Governor, other free transportation to Corbett, and a fishing trip to Lieutenant Governor Cawley, the Governor's conduct is especially troubling. http://paindependent.com/2012/12/watchblog-corbett-defends-free-vacation-to-rhode-island-in-2011/.
At the time of the gifts to the Governor, Mr. Moran was subject to an investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for shipping waste without a permit. The investigation apparently was eventually closed in favor of Mr. Moran.
The Governor also appointed Mr. Moran and his wife to official state boards and other important board seats. The Governor and Mr. Moran then traveled to Europe on a trade mission paid for by Team Pennsylvania, of which Governor Corbett had made Mr. Moran the chair.
At this point, it's up to Governor Corbett to restore the Governor's Code of Conduct and the integrity of the operations of the Executive branch that he leads.