CITY COUNCILWOMAN Marian Tasco is calling for the head of Shane Creamer, executive director of the city Board of Ethics. Creamer admitted to his board that he may have violated a rule by sharing information with a reporter about an investigation; he says he gave information off the record because the answer he could give on the record might have fanned the flames of speculation before the investigation was completed.
In our view, Creamer acted ethically in reporting to his board what he feared was a mistake. While he might have violated rules, we don't believe his violation applies to government ethics - he didn't use a public office to benefit himself. (We wonder why Mayor Nutter didn't recognize this distinction.)
More to the point: Right now, we trust his call on ethics more than Council's, whose ethics track record includes: seven members jailed on corruption charges in the past four decades (that we know of); three current members with settlement agreements for violations of public integrity laws; Council participation in the Deferred Option Retirement Plan, and one of its members' famously claiming "we are all ethic'd out." Given all this, the role Council on ethics should be: Listen and learn. *