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Mayor Purzycki Nominates Citizens for Ethics Commission

Post Date:07/12/2017 4:27 PM

Seven-member panel investigates matters regarding City employees; cases are prosecuted by the City Solicitor

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today announced a slate of nominees to serve on the City Ethics Commission which, among other things, reviews certain conduct or behavior of City employees. Wilmington City Council must vote to approve the Mayor’s nominees. The Administration is submitting the nominee information to Council now so it will have time to consider the slate and then schedule a vote when Council returns from a summer recess. 

“I appreciate the willingness of this distinguished group of citizens to serve in this important capacity,” said Mayor Purzycki. “The duties and responsibilities of the Ethics Commission are established by virtue of the City Code and include the referral of alleged violations of conflict of interest and code of conduct provisions to the City Solicitor for investigation.   Although we hope the talents of this group are not frequently needed, I am confident that all matters brought before the Ethics Commission will be handled in a professional, credible, and independent manner.” 

The Administration has been compiling a list of citizens who are interested in serving on the Ethics Commission since earlier this year. The nominees being submitted to City Council for its review and approval later this summer are:

  • William Johnston, a Republican who is an attorney and partner with the Wilmington law firm of Young Conway Stargatt & Taylor (nominated for a four-year term commencing in 2017)
  • Charles H. Toliver IV, a Republican  who is  an attorney with the law firm of Wilmington law firm of Morris James and a retired judge (24-years) with the Delaware Superior Court (nominated for a four-year term commencing in 2017)
  • Faith Meisinger-Petit, a Democrat who is the National Director of Customer Service with Corporation Service Company (nominated for a four-year term commencing in 2017)
  • Melvin Phillips, a Democrat who is a member of the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO and President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist Delaware Chapter (nominated for a four-year term commencing in 2017)
  • Demetrio ‘Junior’ Ortega, a Democrat who is a former three-term member of Wilmington City Council (5th District) and the former Executive Director of the Latin American Community Center (nominated for a four-year term commencing in 2017)
  • Frank Hawkins, a Democrat who is the Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement for AIDS Delaware (Frank is a current member of the Commission who is being re-nominated to serve through the middle of April 2019) 

As one of its duties, the Ethics Commission refers alleged violations of the Code of Conduct to the City Solicitor to investigate, and the Commission recommends, if appropriate, what disciplinary to take against an employee.  The Commission received one matter for review in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015, but has not considered any matters since January of 2015. Commission Members are limited to two, four-year terms. The Commission may not have more than four members serving who are affiliated with one political party and no member may hold political office or be part of any political campaign.


For more information about this news release, contact:

John Rago
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Communications
Office of Mayor Michael S. Purzycki
Mobile: (302) 420-7928
Email: jrago@WilmingtonDE.gov

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