Conference on government ethics in Philly, and no, officials say it's not ironic

Pat Loeb
December 10, 2018 - 6:10 pm
The panel, "You're Not From Around Here, Are You? Changing A Culture of Non-Compliance." From left to right Joe Friday of the Canadian government ethics commission, Amy, Kurland, and Nick Paul, an Ohio ethics officer.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia is host, for the next few days, to the Council on Government Ethics Law. The group is made up of the officials who try to keep government honest and open, and they had a reason for choosing Philadelphia for their annual conference. 

Yes, Philadelphia has something of a reputation, as even its Inspector General Amy Kurland admits. 

"It's always been a joke. We've been corrupt and contented, we had the Philly shrug, the green handshake," she said. 

But there was no irony intended in holding the Government Ethics conference in Philadelphia. In fact, Kurland spoke on a panel about how to change a culture of unethical behavior.

"When Michael Nutter was elected, he allowed me to expand and build my office and the ethics board was created, the chief integrity officer, and we have been making an effort to change the culture in Philadelphia," she said.

Program co-chairman Susan Willeke says the conference is here as a reminder of what the group was created for. 

"We thought there was something really special about coming to the birthplace of democracy to celebrate that that's what our agencies do, is protect democracy for American citizens," she said.