Activist requests investigation into Pa. education adviser’s work situation

    A government reform activist is trying to get Pennsylvania’s Ethics Commission to investigate a special adviser to Gov. Tom Corbett.



    The ethics complaint calls for an investigation into Ron Tomalis, former education secretary and now adviser on higher education.

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    Gene Stilp, also a Democratic candidate for the State House, filed the complaint after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported there was little evidence Tomalis has been an active adviser, based on schedule documents, phone logs, and interviews with colleagues.

    “The official government body can look into this, if you will, the Tomalis mystery,” Stilp said. “Is he or is he not a ghost employee? And how come the governor hasn’t been keeping better track of this fellow?”

    Tomalis resigned as secretary of education last year. At the time, people within the governor’s office said they were seeking someone more suited to selling the administration’s education policies.

    But Tomalis was kept on as an adviser, with no change to his $139,931 salary. The Department of Education told the Post-Gazette that Tomalis is working.

    The state Ethics Commission could take a couple of months to respond to Stilp’s complaint.

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