State liquor board closes loopholes on gifts after Wolf order

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Chairman Joseph Brion, pictured, said his agency's code of conduct will be updated to conform with Gov. Tom Wolf's executive order banning state employees from accepting any and all gifts.
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Chairman Joseph Brion, pictured, said his agency's code of conduct will be updated to conform with Gov. Tom Wolf's executive order banning state employees from accepting any and all gifts. | Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) unanimously voted on Friday to close loopholes in its code of conduct to prohibit employees from accepting any and all gifts from vendors or contractors.

The move was to support Gov. Tom Wolf's recently signed executive order that banned state employes from accepting gifts. PLCB employees already were prohibited from accepting alcoholic beverages offered by vendors or contractors, however, but there were exceptions that weren't covered, such as T-shirts, pens and other gifts. The revisions passed by the board eliminate those loopholes.

“The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board already had one of the most restrictive codes of conduct in Pennsylvania state government, but these modifications make it even stronger,” PLCB Chairman Joseph Brion said. “We firmly support the governor’s actions and felt it important to voluntarily update our Code of Conduct to promote consistency in state government and provide clarity to our employees.”

The board already had reissued its code of conduct to employees in September, and all employees were required to sign, acknowledging that they had read and understood the code. Vendors were also asked to sign a Vendor Code of Conduct, which outlined “relevant ethical rules for those conducting business with the PLCB,” the board said.

The PLCB runs about 600 fine-wine and spirits stores in the state and regulates all  distribution of alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania. Store profits from the businesses operated by the PLCB, as well as taxes, go into the state's general fund.