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Final Adjudications Issued - Burkhart, Sauder, & Wesley

08/03/2020


Order No. 1773 (Burkhart) 
Member and Vice-President of Council
New Holland Borough
New Holland, PA  17557

ORDER SUMMARY:

1. Todd C. Burkhart (“Burkhart”), as a Member and Vice-President of Council for New Holland Borough (“Borough”), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, violated Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a), when he participated in decisions of Borough Council to approve the payment of invoices for services rendered to the Borough by Franklin Street Garage Auto Repair, LLC, a business with which Burkhart is associated.
2.  A technical violation of  Section(s) 1105(b)(1), (6), (7), (9), (10) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 1105(b)(1), (6), (7), (9), (10), occurred when Burkhart filed deficient Statements of Financial Interests by failing to provide a response as to disclosures regarding “Business Interests Transferred to Immediate Family Member” for calendar years 2016 and 2017, failing to provide an address for calendar year 2015, and failing to respond as to disclosures regarding gifts, travel, hospitality, lodging, and financial interest in any legal entity in business for profit on a Statement of Financial Interests filed for calendar year 2014. 
a. For those deficiencies listed above, with the exception of failing to provide an address, Burkhart had no disclosures to make.  
3. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Burkhart is directed to make payment in the amount of $500.00 payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.
4. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Burkhart is further directed to make payment to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission in the amount of $100.00, representing a portion of the expenses and costs incurred by this Commission in the investigation and administrative prosecution of the instant matter, payable by certified check or money order made payable to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.  
5. Burkhart is directed to not accept any reimbursement, compensation or other payment from the Borough representing a full or partial reimbursement of the amount paid in settlement of this matter.
6. To the extent he has not already done so, Burkhart is directed to file complete and accurate amended Statements of Financial Interests for calendar years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 with the Borough, through the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.  
7. Compliance with paragraphs 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this Order will result in the closing of this case with no further action by this Commission.
a. Non-compliance will result in the institution of an order enforcement action.


Order No. 1774 (Sauder) 
Former Member of the Board of Supervisors
and Township Manager 
East Earl Township
East Earl, PA 17519

ORDER SUMMARY:

1. Justin Sauder (“Sauder”), a public official/public employee in his capacities as a Member of the Board of Supervisors (“Board”) of East Earl Township (“Township”), Lancaster County, from January 5, 2015, until his resignation effective January 6, 2019, and as the Township Manager since January 7, 2019, did not violate Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a), in relation to his participation in discussions and actions of the Board regarding the hiring/appointment of a Township Manager, as at the time he engaged in any action he had specifically declined to be considered a candidate and did not possess a reasonable expectation that the general public and other Township officials would subsequently seek his appointment as the Township Manager. 
2. A technical violation of Section(s) 1105(b)(1)(2)(4)(8) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1105(b)(1)(2)(4)(8), occurred in relation to Sauder filing deficient Statements of Financial Interests by failing to disclose his employment with Gehman Feed Mills upon Statements of Financial Interests filed for calendar years 2014 through 2018, failing to provide an address for calendar years 2016 and 2018, failing to provide a response to “Creditors” and “Office Status” for calendar year 2018, and failing to provide a response to “Occupation” and “Creditors” for his calendar year 2017 filing, as the deficiencies were negligent in nature and corrected by amended filings prior to the issuance of the Investigative Complaint/Findings Report.
3. Inasmuch as Sauder amended and corrected his Statement of Financial Interests filings prior to the issuance of the Investigative Complaint/Findings Report in this matter, the Investigative Division is not seeking the assessment of any civil penalty concerning Sauder’s deficient Statement of Financial Interests filings, and no further action shall be taken in this case.


Order No. 1775 (Wesley) 
Township Supervisor 
Lower Southampton Township
Feasterville, PA  19053

ORDER SUMMARY:

1. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, a technical violation of Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a), occurred when Keith Wesley (“Wesley”), as a Township Supervisor for Lower Southampton Township (“Township”), Bucks County, Pennsylvania, voted to approve Township bill lists authorizing the issuance of payments to Hoffman Services, Inc., a business with which he is associated.
2. Wesley did not violate Section 1103(f) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(f), when the Township entered into contracts with Hoffman Services, Inc. absent an open and public process, in that Wesley did not enter into the contracts, but rather authorized payment of invoices after the contracts were negotiated and services were rendered. 
3. No violation of Section 1103(f) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(f), occurred when the Township entered into contracts with Hoffman Services, Inc., absent an open and public process, for inspection services, in that the value of each such contract was less than $500.00.
4. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Wesley is directed to make payment in the amount of $500.00 payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order. 
5. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Wesley is directed to not accept any reimbursement, compensation or other payment from the Township representing a full or partial reimbursement of the amount paid in settlement of this matter.
6. Compliance with Paragraphs 4 and 5 of this Order will result in the closing of this case with no further action by this Commission.
a. Non-compliance will result in the institution of an order enforcement action.


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