Original jurisdiction in the case of I. Raymond Kremer v. State Ethics Commission, et al.
I. Raymond Kremer, petitioner, for himself.
Nancy D. Wasser, Assistant District Attorney, with her Sandra S. Christianson, General Counsel, State Ethics Commission, for respondents.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, Craig, MacPhail, Williams, Jr. and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Craig.
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By Amended Petition for Review addressed to this court's original jurisdiction, the Honorable I. Raymond
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Kremer,*fn1 a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, seeks injunctive and declaratory relief which would prevent the respondents, The State Ethics Commission, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania and the District Attorney of Philadelphia County from enforcing the financial disclosure provisions of the Act of October 4, 1978 (Ethics Act) P.L. 883, 65 P.S. § 401 et seq., and which would declare that the Ethics Act, particularly as it may require judges to file statements of financial interests, is unconstitutional. The State Ethics Commission has filed a preliminary objection in the nature of a demurrer.*fn2
Section 4(d) of the Ethics Act, which is central to the litigation, provides:
No public official shall be allowed to take the oath of office or enter or continue upon his duties, nor shall he receive compensation from public funds, unless he has filed a statement of financial interests with the commission as required by this act.
Section 5 of the Ethics Act requires that the person filing a statement of financial interests disclose annually with regard to the person filing and members of his immediate family: all direct or indirect interests in real estate sold, purchased, leased to or from or condemned by the Commonwealth; the name and address of every creditor to whom is owed more than $5000; the name and address of any person who is the
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source of income totaling $500 or more; the name and address of any person from whom a gift or gifts valued at $200 or more was received; the source of any honorarium in excess of $100; and all business affiliations.
Section 9 of the Ethics Act provides criminal sanctions for failing to file the statement of financial interests; and as reference to Section 4(d) above will disclose, a public official who fails to file a statement of ...