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East Neighborhoods
East Brief: 6/23/2003

Monday, June 23, 2003

JOHNSTOWN: Ethics code of little interest

City Council will apparently ignore a call for a city ethics code raised because of Mayor Don Zucco's activities with Crown American Corp.

Councilman Jack Williams has argued a code is needed because of what some view as Zucco's conflict of interest as a board member of Crown's real estate division.

The company's hotel division recently was hired to manage the city's new $5.5 million conference center. Zucco abstained from a vote on that deal.

Zucco voted as a board member of Crown's publicly held real estate division to sell that company in a $371 million stock deal that will see the economically troubled city lose 134 jobs. Zucco got a $1.5 million golden parachute as part of that deal, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records.

But other council members see no need to even vote on the matter when they meet again July 16.

"I haven't even looked at them," Councilwoman Nancy Malloy said of model ethics guidelines given to council by City Manager Jeff Silka. "I'm not one bit interested in having an ethics code. I think it's ridiculous."

Councilman Anthony Pinizzotto said the state's ethics code is enough.

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