Possibly spurred on by an alleged romantic relationship between a city councilman and his aide, a yearlong ethics task force recommendation may result in an official ban of intimate relationships between city workers and their bosses.
After a year of research and investigations, Mayor Nutter’s Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform released its 91-page report Thursday. In it, there is a strict anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policy.
Currently city policy allows employees and elected officials to hire, promote, or recommend doing such, for family members and persons with which they are intimately involved.
“As a result…unqualified or barely qualified individuals may be hired as city employees or promoted unfairly, and may receive more favorable treatment than deserved and/or financial benefit as a result of family or romantic connections,” the report bemoans.
Other governments and corporations have recognized the perils of nepotism and fraternization, the report states, and therefore Philadelphia should do the same. The reports states that the lack of a policy erodes the public confidence in the city government and its officials and employees.
The City must “adopt a strict anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policy that precisely defines intimate and familial relationships and would prohibit individuals from hiring, firing, promoting, and/or making supervisory decisions concerning those with whom they have such a relationship,” the report states/.
The possible ban may have been inspired by Fox29’s report last year that an aide to councilman W. Wilson Goode, Jr. was away from work while her timesheets said she was on the job. The station’s report included photos of Goode and his aide Latrice Bryant together in swimsuits at an island resort.
Bryant talked to NBC Philadelphia last year to give her side of the story.
The task force does say that the ban should not be absolute. Relatives and significant others could be employed in separate departments.