Order No. 1769 (Sims)
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Representing the 182nd District
Harrisburg, PA 17120
1. Brian K. Sims (“Sims”), a public official in his capacity as a Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (“House”) representing the 182nd District, did not violate Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a), as to the allegation that he utilized staff, office space, equipment and materials of his legislative district office and/or his Capitol office to coordinate, confirm, finalize, etc. paid appearances/presentations/ speeches, as any such actions had a de minimis economic impact.
2. Sims did not violate Section 1103(d) of the Ethics Act as to the allegation that he solicited and/or accepted honoraria in association with appearances/ presentations/speeches, as the payments he received for his appearances/ presentations/speeches were consideration for the value of such services which were nonpublic occupational or professional in nature, and therefore were excluded from the Ethics Act’s definition of “honorarium.”
3. A technical violation of Sections 1104(a) and 1105(b)(5) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 1104(a), 1105(b)(5), occurred when Sims failed to disclose Amherst College and Campus Pride, Inc. (“Campus Pride”) as direct sources of income on his 2013 and 2015 Statements of Financial Interests respectively.
4. Sims violated Sections 1104(a) and 1105(b)(8) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 1104(a), 1105(b)(8), by failing to list his board membership/directorship with Campus Pride on his 2013 and 2014 calendar year Statements of Financial Interests.
5. We hereby levy three maximum civil penalties against Sims in the amount of $250.00 each, for a total amount of $750.00, for Sims’ deficient Statements of Financial Interests for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
6. Sims is ordered to make payment of the aforesaid civil penalties in the total amount of $750.00 by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order, by forwarding to this Commission a certified check or money order in the amount of $750.00 made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for deposit in the State Treasury.
7. To the extent he has not already done so, Sims is ordered to file complete and accurate amended Statements of Financial Interests--including all reportable direct sources of income--for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015 with the Chief Clerk of the House and with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.
8. Failure to comply with Paragraph 6 or 7 of this Order will result in the initiation of an appropriate enforcement action.
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