Two aides to outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller have admitted doing political work inside their City Hall offices, agreeing to pay $4,100 in fines and accepting one-year bans from the city payroll.
The city Board of Ethics announced Monday that it had signed settlement agreements with Michael Quintero Moore, who draws a $60,179 salary as the councilwoman's communications director, and Miller's niece, Kacy Nickens, who held a $30,000-a-year job on her aunt's staff.
There was no action involving Miller, whose 16-year career in Council ends in December. Miller did not respond to a request for comment.
Moore acknowledged using a city computer, printer, and e-mail account for a series of political statements and fliers connected to last spring's Democratic primary election - Miller's endorsement of Verna Tyner to replace her, an endorsement flier for distribution in the 59th Ward, and a flier promoting an April fund-raiser to benefit the 59th Ward Democratic organization, led by Miller.
"The 59th Ward flier Moore created included a disclosure at the bottom reading 'Labor Donated,' " according to the signed agreement between Moore and the Ethics Board. "In reality, the labor was paid for by the taxpayers of Philadelphia."
Moore agreed to pay $1,800 in fines for violating a newly revamped set of rules meant to constrain political activity by Council employees and an additional $2,000 fine for trying to undermine the Ethics Board's investigation.
He admitted that he had tried to destroy several computer files sought by the Ethics Board, and had refused to be interviewed under oath by the board's investigators.
Miller's niece agreed to a $300 fine, acknowledging she was sitting at Miller's desk in City Hall, printing and folding pro-Tyner fliers, when Ethics Board staff arrived with a subpoena May 13.
Both Moore and Nickens would have lost their current jobs when Miller leaves office.
Nickens, forced to resign effective this week, is losing about three weeks pay, while Moore was permitted to stay on the payroll through the end of the year.
Moore told a reporter Monday that he was already intending to leave the city payroll, because the Ethics Board controversy "left sort of a sour taste."