City election official fined by ethics board

    The city Ethics Board has fined a veteran Philadelphia elections official $2,700 for engaging in illegal political activity.

    Deputy city commissioner Renee Tartaglione quickly resigned her post last month after ethics board officials contacted her about the case against her.

    Tartaglione is the daughter of veteran City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione, and for years she served as a deputy commissioner in her mother’s office. The city charter forbids city employees from engaging in political activity.The City Commissioners oversee elections in the city.

    In an settlement agreement she signed with the Ethics Board, Renee Tartaglione admitted several violations of the city charter, agreed to pay a $2,700 civil penalty, and pledged not to seek city employment for one year.

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    Tartaglione assisted in the campaign of state representative candidate Jonathan Ramos, handled election day “street money” for two Democratic wards, and placed several orders with a printer for campaign material.

    Employees of some city elected officials have engaged in such activity for years, but the newly-constituted Ethics Board has been more aggressive about enforcing the charter restrictions.

    “I think we’re serving notice on all city officials and city employees that these rules will be enforced by the board,” Creamer said.

    Tartaglione did not return a call for a comment. Her attorney William Brennan called her activities “technical violations” of the rules.

    “I really believe this is on the low end of the scale of inappropriate behavior,” Brennan said. “But Renee respects the letter of the law and that’s why she dealt with this so quickly and effectively.”

    Marge Tartaglione is running for re-election to the city commission next year.


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