Request an Advisory Opinion
Have a question about whether some future act could violate our Ethics Code? Ask us today! There are two types of responses:
Informal, Quick Answers:
The Ethics Officer can quickly respond to your questions regarding the requirements of the Code, just send an email or call 412-255-8882. However, please note these informal answers are not binding to you or to the Ethics Hearing Board.
Binding, Formal Advisory Opinions:
A formal advisory opinion is exclusively rendered by the Ethics Hearing Board. These formal advisory opinions are binding upon the Ethics Hearing Board in any subsequent proceeding concerning the person or entity that requested the opinion, or to which the advisory opinion referred. As described below, advisory opinions can be reconsidered, which means they may be amended or revoked. Also there must be good faith, and the requester can’t omit or misstate a material fact in requesting the advisory opinion.
If you’d like a binding, formal advisory opinion, please complete this form and return by email or to by mail to: City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board, City County Building, Rm. 328, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Upon the written request of any person covered under this Code, the Ethics Hearing Board must render, within thirty days after the date of its next regular meeting, a written advisory opinion with respect to the interpretation or application of this Code – and again, this is with respect to future actions only. Check out our main page if you have a concern or complaint about something that’s happened in the past or is ongoing.
A requester of ethics advice may seek reconsideration of a written advisory opinion by the Ethics Officer or the Ethics Hearing Board. A request for reconsideration must allege that (1) a material error of law has been made; or (2) a material error of fact has been made. The Ethics Officer's decision upon reconsideration may be appealed to the Ethics Hearing Board. An Ethics Hearing Board's decision upon reconsideration is final and may not be appealed. The Ethics Officer or Ethics Hearing Board may reconsider its advice on its own initiative, providing notice to the requester. Advice stands until it has been amended; it is not suspended pending reconsideration or appeal.