The Philadelphia Bar Association has dropped its lawsuit against the city’s new lobbying law. A court appearance had been scheduled, but a move Thursday by the Philadelphia Board of Ethics prompted the bar to halt the suit.
Rudy Garcia, bar association chancellor, praised the board’s decision to put the requirements of the ordinance on hold until revised regulations are finalized.
“This really accomplished everything that an injunction would have accomplished, so there’s no need to pursue the litigation at this point. There are still serious problems with the ordinance and the previously drafted regulation which need to be straightened out,” he said. “What this resolution does is put everything on hold until that can be done.”
Shane Creamer, executive director of the ethics board, says the process is working.
“The law was passed last year by City Council. As with most laws, it needs clarification and interpretation. It’s our job as the implementing agency to do that and the Charter requires us to propose a draft regulation, which we’ve done, and to invite public comment,” Creamer said. “We’re now considering the comments, and we are modifying the regulation in light of those comments that we think are reasonable.”
Garcia, who says the ordinance is drafted too broadly, said Thursday if the issues are not addressed, there’s always the option of returning to the court.