Murrysville Developing Officials' Financial Disclosure Form

By Paterra, Paul | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

Murrysville Developing Officials' Financial Disclosure Form


Paterra, Paul, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Murrysville officials are developing a financial disclosure form that some people serving on the municipality's various boards and committees will be required to complete.

Initially, council's plan was to require volunteers to file the standard state-generated financial disclosure form. But Michele Clarke, Murrysville's former recreation director, told council last month that she refused to complete the form she was asked to fill out in order to serve on the stakeholders' committee.

She said she was denied a place on the committee because she would not complete the form. Her reluctance likely prompted council to consider developing its own financial disclosure form and to limit the scope of those who would be required to complete it.

"This form is not for volunteers, especially those who are not handling money," Clarke said. "My objection was they were not getting the proper information. I felt someone needed to take a stand. They hadn't really discussed the purpose of what they wanted from volunteers to protect the municipality."

Appointed members of boards, commissions and committees in Murrysville have been required to provide statements of financial interest since 2005. Before that, only the zoning hearing board and library board members were required to do so.

The State Ethics Commission requires financial disclosure forms from elected officials, certain public employees and others appointed by an elected body.

"Boards and committees, which are merely advisory in nature with no power to expend public funds or exercise the authority or power of the political subdivision other than to make a recommendation to some other board, aren't required to fill out the forms," said John Contino, executive director of the ethics commission.

"The ethics law does have a provision that any government body, municipality or state agency can enact their own requirements to supplement the ethics law as long as it is equal to or not less restrictive than the ethics law," he said.

In July, Murrysville council voted 4-3 to stop the practice. …

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