Mayor-elect Jim Kenney vowed Thursday to continue the ethical standards that Mayor Nutter brought to city government.

Kenney, speaking at the Committee of Seventy's annual luncheon, also said he would keep Amy Kurland as inspector general, a position he has long sought to make permanent.

"I want to assure everyone in this room . . . we are not going backward," Kenney said to about 500 people at the Loews Hotel on Market Street. "We are going to go forward and build on the things that the Nutter administration has done - transparency, ethics, and integrity of government."

Nutter said integrity and honesty had to be the core of any government. Nutter was the first mayor to create a chief integrity officer position.

He told the story Thursday of how he placed Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman's office right next to his when he came into office in 2008 to set a tone.

"I wanted Joan to have access and influence helping guide our administration and hold all of us, including me, accountable," Nutter said. Markman died of cancer in January.

In addition to the chief integrity officer position, Nutter increased funding for the inspector general's office and hired Kurland, a former federal prosecutor, to take the helm. The office now has a $1.6 million budget.

Nutter, who will be handing the mayoral baton to Kenney in January, said he was proud that his successor intended to maintain the same ethical standards he has championed while in office.

One of the first people Kenney called after he won the primary in May was Kurland, the mayor-elect told the crowd.

"I asked her if she would consider staying on with us and keeping her great team of investigators together and helping us save taxpayer money to put into things like schools," Kenney said.

Kurland quickly agreed to stay. She has been helping Kenney with the vetting of high-level administrative posts, including conducting background checks, Kurland said.

Kenney ended his short speech Thursday by saying that he would continue the work of the Nutter administration but that he was also looking forward to "changing the narrative when it comes to poverty in our city."

"That is my goal over the next four years - to move that poverty needle in the downward direction and making lives better for our people," Kenney said. "In this city, a zip code shouldn't matter regarding your opportunity to meet your potential in life."

Editor's Note: This story was corrected to reflect that Joan Markman died in January, not last year.

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