State panel rules that Homestead councilwoman violated ethics act

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A Homestead councilwoman engaged in a conflict of interest when she nominated her sister to fill a vacancy on the borough's council -- a position for which her sister was compensated, the State Ethics Commission said today.

Barbara Broadwater violated several sections of the State Ethics Act, the commission found.

In October 2012, Ms. Broadwater nominated her sister, Wanda Burwell, to council to fill a vacancy when a former councilman died.

Ms. Broadwater voted for Ms. Burwell, who was appointed..

Between October 2012 and this past December, the borough paid Ms. Burwell $1,750 for serving on council, according to the commission's findings.

Ms. Broadwater will have to reimburse the borough for that amount as part of a consent agreement.

The commission also found that Ms. Broadwater did not timely file a statement of financial interests for 2012, a disclosure form required to be filed by elected officials in Pennsylvania.

Neither Ms. Broadwater nor Ms. Burwell could be reached for comment this afternoon.

But the commission wrote that Ms. Broadwater said she got advice that supporting her sister's bid for council "would not be inappropriate."

Jonathan D. Silver:, 412-263-1962 or on Twitter @jsilverpg.

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