PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has kept a campaign promise and tightened up the rules on gifts to city employees. The mayor has signed an executive order that expands the list of prohibitions.
The big change, says Kenney’s chief integrity officer Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, is that gifts from lobbyists will now be prohibited.READ MORE: 65% Of Philadelphia Employees Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine As Of Tuesday
“The public perception is that’s where some of the abuse occurs,” she explained.
Kaplan says the new rule is not a response to a particular case, but is meant to boost public confidence in city employees.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Ahjaon Jackson Shot, Killed While Coming Home From Work With Twin Sister, Philadelphia Police Say
“Everybody has to feel they have equal access to city government,” she said, “and influence is not being bought either through lobbying or giving gifts.”
The executive order has been in place since 1961 and revised several times, but the most recent changes were five years ago, and the mayor’s office says he thought these updates were important.
It covers only executive branch employees. Gifts to other city workers are governed by an ordinance that’s a bit looser, allowing, for instance, gifts up to $99 in value.MORE NEWS: Two People, Including At Least 1 Firefighter, Injured In Crash In Philadelphia's West Oak Lane Neighborhood
All the rules allow for exceptions under certain circumstances.