Allentown City Council proposes changes to ethics laws in wake of controversy over campaign videos

Written by on May 10, 2021

Allentown City Council coincides changes to ethics laws in wake of controversy over campaign videos

By Ben Stemrich

May 10, 2021

Photo | Ben Stemrich / WLVR

Several Allentown officials are accusing each other of using city property or resources to campaign. Now, the same lawmakers want to put a stop to similar behavior in the future.

Listen to the story.

Council President Julio Guridy accused Mayor Ray O’Connell and Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach of using footage of the inside of city buildings in their campaign videos. 

Several officials levied similar accusations against Guridy earlier in the campaign.

All three are running for Mayor, along with Matt Tuerk.

Edward White, a creative and political strategist, says while it may be wrong, it may not be illegal.

“They all should be considered improper and all three of the officials that engaged in them should be publicly chastised, but is it a big deal? As long as the people are aware of the facts, and aware of the rules I think they can take it into account,” White says. 

On May 5, the council proposed an amended ethics code so this doesn’t happen in future elections.

White says he thinks this is just election politics.

“I will never say that matters of ethics are petty, compared to larger issues where about a third of our city residents are living below the poverty line or in extreme poverty and where the demographics have changed in the city so substantially, and the city hasn’t really caught up with that. Those are bigger issues,” White says. 

The amendment was referred to committee.

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