PA Gaming Board Adopts Code of Conduct, Authorizes Search For Executive Director
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, charged by statute with overseeing the implementation of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, today adopted the state's Ethics Act as its initial code of conduct to ensure that it does business according to the highest ethical standards. The Board recognized a possible need for future amendments to strengthen the code.
The Board, holding its inaugural meeting, also authorized Chairman Thomas A. Decker to negotiate contracts with two nationally recognized executive search firms to identify candidates for Executive Director, Director of the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement and Chief Counsel. Diversified Search Inc., with offices across Pennsylvania, will head the search for an Executive Director and a Director of the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, while Coleman Legal Search LLC, based in Philadelphia, will identify candidates for Chief Counsel.
"The members of this Board are committed to ensuring that Pennsylvania's gaming industry will do business with the utmost integrity, while working to implement the statutorily authorized gaming in a timely manner," Chairman Decker said.
The Board also agreed to:
-- Conduct public meetings pursuant to the state's Sunshine Act.
-- Enter an interagency agreement with the state Department of Revenue
for interim executive, legal and administrative services.
-- Authorize Chairman Decker to seek an emergency procurement to contract
for office space for the Board.
-- Adopt the Commonwealth's work hours, holidays and leave policies to
facilitate the efficient start-up of the Board.
Board members also heard presentations on issues including the central control computer system that will monitor slot machines at the 14 licensed facilities that will eventually operate in the state; an overview on the state of technology in the gaming industry; and possible operating structures for the Board.
The Board's seven voting members and three ex-officio members also took part in a ceremonial swearing in, led by Pedro A. Cortes, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Under Act 71, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell in July, the leader of each of the four legislative caucuses names one voting member, while the Governor names three, including the Chairman. Most Board votes must pass by a "qualified majority" consisting of the four legislative appointees and one of the Governor's appointees.
The Board members are:
-- Chairman Decker, appointed by Governor Rendell to a three-year term.
-- William P. Conaboy, appointed by Senate Democratic Leader Robert
Mellow to a two-year term.
-- Mary DiGiacomo Colins, appointed by Governor Rendell to a one-year
-- Jeffrey W. Coy, appointed by House Democratic Leader H. William
DeWeese to a two-year term.
-- Kenneth T. McCabe, appointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C.
Jubelirer to a two-year term.
-- Joseph W. "Chip" Marshall III, appointed by Speaker of the House of
Representatives John Perzel to a two-year term.
-- Sanford Rivers, appointed by Governor Rendell to a two-year term.
Under Act 71, the state secretaries of Agriculture and Revenue and the state Treasurer are ex-officio members of the Board.
The Gaming Control Board meets again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004, in the Auditorium of the state Museum, 300 North St., Harrisburg.