Pa. ethics laws could change after latest scandal

    It’s been a torrid 12-month stretch of scandals for all three branches of Pennsylvania’s state government.

    The latest transgressions were detailed this month by The Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported that a criminal investigation by the attorney general’s office found four state lawmakers accepted money from a lobbyist. It has sparked outrage from their colleagues and calls for legislation to ban cash gifts to public officials.

    For now, Pennsylvania’s policy on gifts is viewed as among the nation’s weakest, allowing Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and other lawmakers to accept anything, as long as no strings are attached.

    Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates are calling for a complete ban on all gifts to state officials.

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