To be fair, she did clear this gig in advance with the state ethics commission. She told them she would "identify business opportunities" and "provide consulting services" concerning contracts with "local government entities" with an unnamed company. Although the Ethics Commission gave her a green light, it was based on assurances that she would make no contacts with any state agency or local government entity, would not solicit business or use confidential information obtained from her public position to pinpoint a possible Vitetta deal.
Mann did tell me that she "may have reached out to some regional schools," although she did not make the initial contact. Doesn't that, in and of itself, put undue pressure on school administrators? Does it really matter whether the initial call comes from her?
I believe she has a conflict of interest, and has gone beyond what was authorized by the Pa. Ethics Comm'n.
But what really exacerbates an already dicey question is her position as a member of the Stimulus Oversight Commission. At the time of its opinion, the state ethics commission had no idea that there was going to be a gigantic stimulus package, to say nothing of some state oversight board. It was formed two years after the state ethics opinion, and"reviews, monitors and advises Pennsylvania on its plans for stimulus spending."
One of the outfits she is monitoring just happens to be Vitetta. According to the Pa. Treasury Department, Vitetta is involved in eight Pennsylvania stimulus projects involving the Department of General Services (DGS 575-3 PH 3 WO 1, DGS 575-3 PH 4 Amendment, DGS 575-3 Amendment 31, DGS 948-68 PH 2 WcO 32), Pa. State System of Higher Education (PASSHE-PROF-2005-43R2) and the Turnpike Commission (4400001072, 4400000696 - Supp 1, 4400000697 - Supp 1). This is over $79,000,000 in stimulus contracts.
As a Vitetta consultant, she is providing about as much oversight as a fox in a hen house. And she never cleared this arrangement.
She needs to step down.