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Final Adjudications Issued - Lark, Sees, & Storm

07/29/2021

Order No. 1787 (Lark) 
Board Member and President of Council
West Middlesex Borough
Mercer County, PA

ORDER SUMMARY:


1. Robert Lark (“Lark”), as a Member of Council for West Middlesex Borough (“Borough”), Mercer County, Pennsylvania, violated 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 Council discussions that led to the private pecuniary benefit of Donald Lark & Sons, Inc., and when he directed Donald Lark & Sons, Inc. to perform repairs to Borough streets and alleys prior to approval of Council.  

2. Two violations of Section 1104(a) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a), occurred when Lark failed to file Statements of Financial Interests (“SFIs”) for the 2016 and 2017 calendar years with the Borough.

3. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Lark 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, Lark 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.
  
5. To the extent he has not already done so, Lark is directed to file complete and accurate SFIs/amended SFIs for calendar years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 with the Borough, through the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.

6. Compliance with Paragraphs 3, 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.


Order No. 1788 (Sees) 
Board Member
Mount Jewett Regional Sewer Authority
McKean County, PA

ORDER SUMMARY:


1. Brian Sees (“Sees”), as a Member of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the Mount Jewett Regional Sewer Authority (“Authority”), McKean County, Pennsylvania, violated 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 actions and decisions of the Authority Board to initiate sewer projects, including identifying and contacting potential contractors/vendors, at a time when he possessed a reasonable expectation that he and/or a business with which he is associated would receive a pecuniary benefit by providing the materials necessary for completion of the projects.

2. A violation of Section 1104(a) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a), occurred in relation to Sees’ failure to file Statements of Financial Interests (“SFIs”) with the Authority for calendar years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. 

3. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Sees is directed to make payment in the amount of $2,500.00 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, Sees is further directed to make payment in the amount of $500.00 payable to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, representing a portion of the expenses and costs incurred by this Commission in the investigation and administrative prosecution of the instant matter, with such payment forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.

5. Sees is directed to not accept any reimbursement, compensation or other payment from the Authority 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, Sees is directed to file complete and accurate SFIs/amended SFIs for calendar years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 with the Authority, through this 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. 1789 (Storm) 
Victim Advocate and Board Member
Commonwealth of PA 
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency 
Dauphin County, PA

ORDER SUMMARY:

1. Jennifer Storm (“Storm”)—a public official/public employee in her capacities as a Member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (“PCCD”), a Member of the PCCD Victims’ Services Advisory Committee, and the Victim Advocate for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—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 the allegations in this matter based upon an insufficiency of evidence and Sims, Order 1769.     

2. A technical violation of Section 1103(d) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(d), occurred when Storm received payment from the State of Delaware for presentations, which included portions related to her position as the Victim Advocate, at the 2018 Victim Services Conference hosted by the Delaware Criminal Justice Council.  
3. Technical violations of Section 1105(b)(5) and (7) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1105(b)(5) and (7), occurred when Storm failed to disclose travel/hospitality/lodging provided by the National Crime Victim Law Institute for travel to Portland, Oregon, on her Statement of Financial Interests (“SFI”) for calendar year 2017; when, despite listing the amount received as part of total consulting fees received in 2018, Storm technically failed to separately identify the State of Delaware as a reportable source of income on her SFI for calendar year 2018; and when she failed to identify a provider of rental income as a reportable source of income on her SFI for calendar year 2019.

4. Per the Consent Agreement of the parties, Storm is directed to make payment in the amount of $3,000.00 payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission by no later than the sixtieth (60th) day after the mailing date of this Order.

5. Storm is directed to not accept any reimbursement, compensation or other payment from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania representing a full or partial reimbursement of the amount paid in settlement of this matter.
6. To the extent she has not already done so, Storm is directed to file complete and accurate amended SFIs for calendar years 2017, 2018, and 2019 with this Commission by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this Order.
7. Compliance with Paragraphs 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.


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