Ethics Hearing Board
This five member board is charged with enforcement and education as to the City’s Ethics Code. The Board issues advisory opinions, and works with the Personnel Department to implement a comprehensive training program, in addition to hearing Citizen Complaints.
Public service is a public trust. The City of Pittsburgh is committed to upholding that trust by requiring ethical conduct from all of its employees and officials, whether they be elected, appointed, or hired. City employees and officers are expected to maintain high standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, and fairness in carrying out their public duties, to avoid any impropriety in their roles as public servants, and to refrain from using their public position or power for personal gain.
The Ethics Hearing Board is vital in assuring that these goals are met. The Board consists of five members appointed by the Mayor and City Council. In addition to hearing Citizen Complaints brought under the Ethics Code, the Board advises City employees on the application of the Ethics Code, and works with the Personnel Department to promote a comprehensive program of Ethics training.
The City Ethics Code has recently been amended to require that Public Officials and Public Employees must disclose any gifts valued at over $100.00, except those received from an immediate family member. Additionally, any gifts which total over $100.00 from any single source other than an immediate family member must be reported. All qualifying gifts are to be reported on the publicly available database on the City Ethics Board web page.
The data displayed on the Gift Disclosure List page has been provided by the gift recipients themselves by means of a secure on-line form. Neither the City of Pittsburgh, the Department of City Information Systems or the Ethics Hearing Board have any responsibility for the contents of this gift disclosure database.
- 2 appointed by Mayor; confirmed by City Council
- 3 appointed by Mayor, each from a list of 3 nominees submitted by City Council
Amy E. McCall
Amy Elizabeth McCall serves as Point Park University’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of the Board of Trustees. She came to Point Park University from the Office of General Counsel at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Prior to Penn State, McCall was in private practice in the Pittsburgh region. McCall served as a law clerk for Justice Cynthia A. Baldwin on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She has also been an adjunct professor in Duquesne University School of Law’s distinguished research and writing program.
McCall holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Drexel University and a juris doctor degree from Duquesne University. She lives in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh with her husband.
Christopher A. Amar
Christopher Amar was first appointed to the Ethics Hearing Board in June 2016. He is Of Counsel at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP and a member of the litigation practice group. He represents public and private companies and nonprofit institutions in complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate level. He also serves as outside general counsel for several privately-held companies.
Mr. Amar earned an undergraduate degree in American History and Literature from Harvard College, where he graduated cum laude, before earning a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2005. He also has a master’s degree in American History from the University of Virginia. He is a past chair of the Asian Attorneys Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association, and serves on the Boards of Directors of Pressley Ridge, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.
Patrick J. Bigley
Patrick J. Bigley was nominated by the Allegheny County Labor Council, as their Representative on the Ethics Hearing Board. Mayor William Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council approved the nomination in June 2016.
Mr. Bigley, an Overbrook resident, is currently the President of Pittsburgh Plumber’s Local Union #27. Plumber’s Local Union #27 serves 15 Counties in Western Pennsylvania with over 1200 members. Mr. Bigley with 37 years as a Journeyman- Master Plumber, is an instructor for Plumber’s L.U. #27 Apprentices & Journeymen in OSHA Safety Training. Mr. Bigley is employed by the Pittsburgh School District as the Co-ordinating Foreman for 66 Pittsburgh Building & Construction Trades personnel.
Mr. Bigley has served the residents of Pittsburgh having been appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority in 2006 by Mayor Bob O’Connor. He was appointed to the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors in 2012 by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Mr. Bigley also served on PWSA’s Green Initiative Committee (GITAC).
As a member of the Pittsburgh School District’s Safety Steering Committee, the District received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2006 & 2012. Mr. Bigley has served his neighborhood as a Board Member, Manager, & Volunteer of both Carrick Community Athletic Association and Carrick High School Baseball.
Sister Janice Vanderneck
Sister Janice Vanderneck is a Sister of Saint Joseph. She is the director of Casa San Jose, an outreach of the Sisters of Saint Joseph that is a Latino community-based non-profit. The mission of Casa San Jose is to empower Latinos by promoting integration and self-sufficiency. Casa San Jose provides service coordination, tutoring and mentoring of children and youth, and advocacy for Latino immigrants and Chidren of Latino immigrants. Sister Janice is on the Board of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation and she is a member of the Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Councilo of the Department of Human Services of Allegheny County
John M. Burkoff
John M. Burkoff, a graduate of Michigan (A.B.) and Michigan (J.D.) and Harvard (LL.M) Law Schools, is Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 1976. He has served previously at Pitt Law as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Burkoff has published forty-five books in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal ethics. Some of his lectures on Criminal Law have recently been made available commercially in the “Law School Legends” series (“America’s greatest law school professors on audio CD”).
Burkoff has been awarded both the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award and the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award by the University of Pittsburgh, and he has been voted Teacher of the Year by the graduating law school class there. He has lectured in numerous continuing legal education programs, at many U.S. law schools, the National Judicial College, the Third Circuit Judicial Conference, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court New Judges Training Program, and the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges Judicial Education Conference.
Burkoff has served as faculty, Academic Dean, and as the Executive Dean on a number of occasions on Semester at Sea, a floating university, educating undergraduates while sailing and visiting countries around the world. He has also been involved with projects relating to human rights, criminal justice, legal ethics, and legal education all over the world. He has taught at Bahcesehir University (Istanbul), the University of Navarra (Spain), the University of Ghent (Belgium) where he was Chair in Foreign Law, the University of Iceland, the University of Belgrade (Serbia), the University of Burundi, the University of Nairobi (Kenya), and Moi University (Kenya). He has also been involved in human rights projects for the U.S. Embassies in Burundi, Iceland, and Kenya; he has taught legal ethics to Eastern European lawyers in Slovakia for U.S. Steel; and he has consulted on civilian control of the police in Albania for the U.S. State Department, also teaching at the National Police Academy of Albania. Burkoff was the first Chairperson of the City of Pittsburgh's Citizens Police Review Board.
Jeanette H. Ho
Jeanette H. Ho, Esquire was first appointed to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board in May of 2016.
Ms. Ho is a partner at Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP. Her practice concentrates in the areas of general litigation and insurance coverage interpretation and litigation.
Ms. Ho earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and European studies from Carnegie Mellon University and her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Ms. Ho is currently a member of Pennsylvania’s Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She is a past member of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners and a past Chair of the Third Circuit Lawyer’s Advisory Committee.
All Board members are required to be residents of the City of Pittsburgh.
The first Thursday of each month at 4 PM on the 6th floor of the City-County Building.
- November 3, 2016
- December 1, 2016
- January 5, 2017
- February 2, 2017
- March 2, 2017
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