Pa. Supreme Court Tosses Lawsuit Seeking Replacement Of City Commissioners

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The state Supreme Court has denied a request to order the Philadelphia city commissioners to recuse themselves from next month’s primary election.

The court gave no explanation but simply dismissed the request from the election watchdog group, the Committee of Seventy. The committee had based its request on a passage in state election law that requires county commissioners to recuse themselves from running any election where there is a charter change question on the ballot.

City attorneys responded that the city commissioners fill a far different role; county commissioners pass laws and actually place the questions on the ballot. In Philadelphia, city council does that and the city commission’s sole job is to run elections. Commissioner Lisa Deeley says it’s the result she expected.

“I thank the court for its prompt response,” she said, “and we are just going to carry on and continue to run transparent, well-run elections for the citizens of Philadelphia as we were elected to do.”

Committee of Seventy director David Thornburgh says he continues to believe the law should apply to the city commissioners and is exploring his options.

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