MAYOR NUTTER APPOINTS MICHAEL A. SCHWARTZ,
PEPPER HAMILTON PARTNER, AS CHAIRMAN OF
TASK FORCE ON ETHICS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Philadelphia, Pa. – October 7, 2008 – Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has appointed Michael A. Schwartz, a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP and a former federal prosecutor, as chairman of a newly formed Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform.
The nine-member Task Force, which was introduced by the Mayor at a press conference at City Hall on October 6, 2008, will be reviewing the City’s ethics policies and campaign-finance laws. The Mayor said it is “a group charged with providing recommendations to me and to [Philadelphia City] Council President Verna on changes that can be made to further instill the principles of honesty, transparency and accountability throughout City government.”
Mr. Schwartz will lead the Task Force as it performs a comprehensive review of the City of Philadelphia’s campaign finance ordinance, including its direct regulation of contributions and the disclosure and eligibility requirements with respect to no-bid contracts and City financial assistance; public campaign financing laws in other jurisdictions; additional ethics reforms for City government, with particular focus on nepotism, outside employment, gifts, lobbying and training; and City Solicitor opinions and Ethics Board opinions on political activity restrictions for City-elected officials, their staff members and members of any City board or commission.
In accepting the Mayor’s appointment, Mr. Schwartz said, “I look forward to working with you and the members of the Task Force to put a stop to practices that have a corrupting effect on City government. We intend to build on the hard work that already has been done in the last few years to restore faith in our City’s government and make Philadelphia an even better place in which to live, work, visit and do business.”
The Task Force will convene at least one public hearing for the purpose of receiving information and recommendations from the public, and all meetings of the Task Force will be open to the public. The Task Force expects to provide a report to the Mayor and the Council President setting forth its recommendations by February 2009.
Mr. Schwartz focuses his law practice in the areas of criminal defense and counseling, internal corporate investigations, corporate compliance programs and First Amendment matters. Before joining Pepper Hamilton in February 2008, he 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, including the electronic surveillance investigation during former Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street’s administration and the corruption prosecutions of former City Treasurer Corey Kemp and former City Councilman Richard Mariano.