Mayor Nutter Unveils Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform

October 6, 2008
Office of Mayor Nutter, Office of Communications

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the membership of the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform at a press conference at City Hall today. The Task Force will be chaired by former federal prosecutor Michael Schwartz, former head of the Corruption, Civil Rights, Labor and Tax Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“The time is now for a comprehensive and wide-ranging evaluation of all things ethical and campaign finance related,” said Mayor Nutter. “I campaigned on a pledge to restore ethics and transparency to the heart of city government and today’s announcement is yet another fulfillment of that promise. I would like to thank both those who have agreed to serve on the Task Force and those who appointed them for their service to Philadelphia.”

The Task Force, established by Executive Order on September 24, 2008, will perform a comprehensive review of the City’s campaign finance ordinance (including provisions related to no-bid contracts); public campaign financing laws in other jurisdictions; City Solicitor and Ethics Board opinions; and additional ethics reforms for City Government with a particular focus on nepotism, outside employment, gifts and lobbying. It shall hold at least one public hearing to gather information and recommendations from the public and will report to the Mayor and the Council President no later than February 1, 2009.

“I am honored by the Mayor's request to serve on the Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform,” said Michael Schwartz. “Having prosecuted public officials and businesspersons who violated the public's trust, I look forward to working with the Mayor and the members of the Task Force to evaluate the recent reforms that the Mayor, City Council, and Philadelphia voters have put into place and recommend further changes to continue to restore faith in our City's government and make Philadelphia an even better place in which to live, work, visit, and do business.”

“Mike has served on the front lines of Philadelphia’s battle against fraud and corruption,” said Mayor Nutter. “He is an accomplished prosecutor, and a dedicated public servant, and I am confident that under his leadership this Task Force will provide effective and thoughtful recommendations in the area of ethics and campaign finance reform.

Biographies [with appointers]

Michael Schwartz (Chair) is a partner in the Commercial Litigation, White Collar and Corporate Investigations, and Media and Communications Practice Groups of Pepper Hamilton LLP. Before joining Pepper in 2008, Mr. Schwartz headed the Corruption, Civil Rights, Labor and Tax Fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He successfully prosecuted some of the region’s highest-profile corruption cases.
[Mayor Michael Nutter]

Nolan Atkinson, Jr. is a partner at Duane Morris LLP and the firm's first Chief Diversity Officer.
[J. Whyatt, President, NAACP Philadelphia Branch]

Stephanos Bibas is a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
[Dean Michael Fitts, University of Pennsylvania Law School]

Heidi Gold is the Director of Communications at Ross Associates, Inc. She is a former president of the League of Women Voters Philadelphia and a current member of the board.
[Kelly Green, President, League of Women Voters, Philadelphia Chapter]

Brian McCormick is a partner at Sheller P.C. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Committee of Seventy.
[Zack Stalberg, President and CEO, Committee of Seventy]

Elizabeth McElroy is the Assistant to the President and Political Director of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.
[Pat Eiding, President, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO]

Al Mezzaroba is the former President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
[City Council President Anna C. Verna]

Stephanie Resnick is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP. Ms. Resnick is Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Board of Governors.
[Michael Pratt, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association]

Edward Turzanski is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, and Homeland Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
[Mark Schweiker, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce]