Fumo-like corruption probe may hint at deeper problems

    Ethics and corruption are in the news across Pennsylvania. A former Western PA legislator has been charged with misusing state money through a nonprofit he created. Former state Senator Vince Fumo was convicted last week of similar charges. And Wednesday, Congressman Bob Brady settled an ethics case that found he violated Philadelphia campaign rules, using money from Fumo.

    Ethics and corruption are in the news across Pennsylvania. A former Western PA legislator has been charged with misusing state money through a nonprofit he created. Former state Senator Vince Fumo was convicted last week of similar charges. And Wednesday, Congressman Bob Brady settled an ethics case that found he violated Philadelphia campaign rules, using money from Fumo.

    Transcript:
    Corruption and ethics violations are kind of like ivy.

    That’s how David Thornburg, the Executive Director of Penn’s Fels Institute of Government, thinks of it. If people aren’t tending the garden properly, Thornburg says the ivy will creep into every bare patch of dirt and take over the garden.

    Thornburg says the recent cases indicate a need to change the culture of the legislature and many elected bodies.

    Thornburg: “That comes from a number of different directions but i think starts with higher expectations from the citizenry and vigilance, and looking for violations when elected officials make them and then frankly voting those folks out of office.”

    Thornburg says citizens should insist that a culture that rewards integrity exists within City Council, and the Mayor’s and Governor’s offices.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090327corruption.mp3]

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