Commonwealth Court has ruled that Montgomery County’s Ethics Code, which bars most county employees from partisan political activity, does not apply to people working for the ten independently-elected row officers. County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel says he wants a second opinion.
“The issues are huge and the policy is important, and I think this ought to go to the Supreme Court.”
He sees a problem with Commonwealth Court’s thinking.
“It Balkanizes the county. We are one county, one taxing authority, one set of rules, one set of employees, one retirement system, and I believe one ethical requirement.”
Hoeffel says the commissioners can’t enforce the code for row office employees unless and until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns the Commonwealth Court ruling so, in the meantime, he urges row officers to adopt their own ethics codes. He says the county courthouse needs more ethics and less political activity.