FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 20, 2023
Governor Shapiro Announces Ethics Package, Building on the Exemplary “Culture of Integrity” in the Office of Attorney General
Governor Shapiro restored public trust at the Office of Attorney General, and today, he implemented a comprehensive ethics package as Governor – including a new policy to prevent improper influence, an integrity pledge, and mandatory ethics training.
HARRISBURG, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro announced a comprehensive, three-part ethics package to ensure that the highest standards of integrity guide every action taken by the public servants, officials, and employees under the governor’s jurisdiction. Governor Shapiro restored Pennsylvanians’ trust in the Office of Attorney General, and today’s ethics package is modeled after that work.
Governor Shapiro’s ethics package includes: an Executive Order instituting a new policy to prevent improper influence from lobbyists and special interests that applies to all Executive Branch employees under the Governors jurisdiction, an integrity pledge that all Cabinet members, Governor’s Office staff, and senior managers at Commonwealth agencies will be required to sign, and a mandatory ethics training, led by Eric Fillman, for all Cabinet members, Governor’s Office staff, and senior managers. Fillman, an ethics expert with extensive experience, served as the chief counsel for the House Ethics Committee in Harrisburg and the first-ever Chief Integrity Officer under then-Attorney General Shapiro.
In total, about 3,500 Commonwealth employees will initially be required to sign the integrity pledge and participate in the ethics training. The Shapiro Administration will work to expand that number over time.
“As Attorney General, I held my agency and my staff to the highest standards of integrity and accountability – and today, we are bringing those same standards to the Governor’s Office and executive branch employees under my jurisdiction,” said Governor Shapiro. “This ethics package promotes trust in government and accountability for public officials while fostering dialogue and allowing our administration to bring people together to deliver results for all Pennsylvanians. Our policy ensures no lobbyist or special interest group can buy improper influence, and the integrity pledge every senior administration official will sign is a promise to the people of Pennsylvania that we will serve their best interests alone each and every day.”
“The work Governor Shapiro did in the Office of Attorney General is the gold standard in restoring institutional integrity,” said Fillman. “Under his leadership, the Office of Attorney General re-established a highly ethical atmosphere and rebuilt mutual trust with the public – as governor, he will ensure the Commonwealth maintains that atmosphere and trust as he moves his agenda forward. Governor Shapiro is following in the proud tradition of Governor Thornburgh’s Code of Ethics, and I look forward to leading ethics trainings for his staff and cabinet.”
“Governor Shapiro’s ethics package maintains the Wolf Administration’s high standards of integrity while making real improvements that will help fulfill his promises of bringing people together and delivering results,” said Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver, former Acting Secretary of Community and Economic Development under Governor Wolf. “Governor Shapiro has picked up the mantle of integrity and is boldly carrying it forward to maintain the trust we developed while further serving the people of Pennsylvania.”
“Josh Shapiro was the heartbeat of the Speaker’s Reform Commission, and his commitment to integrity and ability to bring people together allowed us to advance some of the most meaningful ethics reform in modern history,” said former Republican Representative Dave Steil, who co-chaired the Speaker’s Reform Commission with then-Representative Shapiro. “Not only does he have excellent ethical integrity, but he also has the kind of interpersonal skills that allow him to forge bipartisan agreements and consensus. I was proud to support him and look forward to having a highly ethical leader who brings people together as Governor.”
Governor Shapiro’s policy to prevent improper influence is modeled after the policy he put in place in the Office of Attorney General, and prohibits Executive Branch employees from soliciting or accepting gifts, including a total prohibition on gifts, discounts, services or any other items or other benefits of any value received from a lobbyist or lobbying firm.
Governor Shapiro’s integrity pledge and the mandatory ethics training are also modeled after best practices he established in the Office of Attorney General. As part of the ethics training, Fillman will cover the state Ethics Act, the Adverse Interest Act, and the Executive Branch Code of Ethics.
On his first day in office as Attorney General, Governor Shapiro signed a new Code of Ethics for the agency, drafted by Fillman. Within a week’s time, every employee in the office – nearly 800 persons – voluntarily signed the new ethics code.
Read Executive Order 2023-04, Executive Branch Employee Gift Ban here.
Read the Shapiro Administration’s Integrity Pledge here.