ETHICS HEARING BOARD

Ethics Hearing Board Members & Staff

*All Board members are required to be residents of the City of Pittsburgh.

Alex Matthews: Mr. Matthews is a Senior Community Affairs Analyst for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. He reviews and analyzes community grants and sponsorships from local non-profit organizations which enables Highmark to invest financial resources into the Pittsburgh community.

He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Business and Duquesne University with a Masters degree in liberal arts in leadership. He is a past President for the Pittsburgh Board of Education. He currently sits on the several community boards and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Mr. Matthews serves as the Chair of the Ethics Hearing Board. He began is term with the Board on February 12, 2019.

Secretary Patrick J. Bigley was nominated by the Allegheny County Labor Council to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board. Mayor William Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council approved the nomination in June of 2016.

Mr. Bigley, an Overbrook resident, is currently the President of Pittsburgh Plumber’s Local Union #27. Plumber’s Local Union #27 serves fifteen counties in Western Pennsylvania with over 1200 members. Mr. Bigley, with 39 years as a Journeyman- Master Plumber, is an instructor for Plumber’s L.U. #27 Apprentices and Journeymen in OSHA Safety Training. Mr. Bigley was previously employed by the Pittsburgh School District as the Coordinating Foreman for 66 Pittsburgh Building and Construction Trades personnel.

Mr. Bigley has served the residents of Pittsburgh having been appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority in 2006, by Mayor Bob O’Connor. He was appointed to the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors in 2012, by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Mr. Bigley also served on PWSA’s Green Initiative Committee (GITAC). As a member of the Pittsburgh School District’s Safety Steering Committee, the District received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2006 and 2012. Mr. Bigley has served his neighborhood as a Board Member, Manager, and Volunteer of both Carrick Community Athletic Association and Carrick High School Baseball.

As a member of the Pittsburgh School District’s Safety Steering Committee, the District received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2006 & 2012. Mr. Bigley has served his neighborhood as a Board Member, Manager, & Volunteer of both Carrick Community Athletic Association and Carrick High School Baseball

Samantha Bushman: Ms. Bushman is the Founder and CEO of Talk, The New Sex Ed, which empowers teens to make healthy decisions about their relationships and sexual health and empowers parents to convey their beliefs and values to guide teens’ decision making.

Samantha graduated with her B.S. in Psychology in 2005, completed her Master’s in Public Policy and Management in 2008, and was the first Post Graduate Fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University from 2009-2011. She has a longstanding commitment to gender issues and has done a variety of advocacy and policy work in the areas of women’s reproductive health, sexual assault and abuse, and intimate partner violence. Samantha has also worked as a management consultant in both the private and non-profit sectors.

Ms. Bushman began her term with the Ethics Hearing Board on September 3, 2019

Dr. Orlando G. Portela-Valentín is both an academic and a lawyer with more than twenty years of experience in conflict resolution.  He has been a lawyer since 1989, and a certified mediator since 2000. He also holds a PhD in Philosophy of Law.  Dr.  Portela-Valentín has served as a mediator and arbiter in many controversies, including health care, community relations, family matters, court-appointed civil and criminal matters, and employment-related and corporate controversies. He has served as a consultant on cultural competency and mediation for the Judicial Academy of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, the Puerto Rico Bar Association, and the Puerto Rico Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Program.  He has also served as an Ethic’s consultant for the Puerto Rico Bar Association and has served in the Ethics Commission of that institution. 

Currently, Dr. Portela-Valentín is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he teaches “Comparative Professional Responsibility” and is an immigration attorney with Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh where he represents unaccompanied immigrant children. 

He is a native Spanish speaker. 

Lynn Williams Davenport was appointed to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board by Mayor William Peduto in May of 2016.

Ms. Davenport is an Associate Professor of Economics at Community College of Allegheny County. Ms. Davenport is also an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New York and Washington, D.C. Ms. Davenport began her career in New York as an attorney with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before moving to Pittsburgh with her family. She received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, an M.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. in Economics from Smith College.

Ms. Davenport has been very active in the Pittsburgh philanthropic community and served on numerous boards and committees. She currently serves on the boards of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Bridgeway Capital and Carnegie Museum of Art.

Maryann Herman:  Ms. Herman is the Director of Academic Excellence and an Assistant Professor for the School of Law at Duquesne University. Prior to joining Duquesne Law, Ms. Herman served as the director of academic success and bar preparation studies at the Appalachian School of Law. She formerly worked at BarBri Bar Review and The Chicago Legal Clinic.

Ms. Herman received her J.D. from Wayne State University where she was the editor-in-chief of the Wayne Law Review. She earned her B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science from Siena Heights College.

Ms. Herman was appointed to the Ethics Hearing Board on July 30, 2019.

Ms. Poole is a Labor & Employment attorney at the Pittsburgh office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.  Ms. Poole received her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law.  While at Duquesne, Ms. Poole was a member of Duquesne Law Review, Appellate Moot Court Board, and Juvenile Defenders Clinic.

Ms. Poole was appointed to the Ethics Hearing Board in August of 2020.
 

In July 2020, Mayor William Peudto appointed Rhoda Shear Neft to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University School of Law, Ms. Neft is a transactional attorney acting as in-house counsel for her clients.  She particularly practices third-party logistics, warehousing and transportation law.  Ms. Neft is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, where she continues to hold leadership positions.

A graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, class XVII, Ms.  Neft is a member of the Women’s Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art and Fellow of the Museum.  She also exhibits her love for animals as a volunteer of the Humane Animal Rescue League. Ms. Neft is the recipient of the Carol Los Mannsman Helping Hand Award given by the Women in the Law Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association to a female attorney who strives to improve the quality of legal practice for women.

 

Ethics Office Staff

Leanne Davis serves as the Executive Director of the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board ("Board"), as well as its Ethics Officer. The Ethics Officer is a position selected by the Board in accordance with the City Code, for the purpose of quickly responding to questions regarding ethics requirements.

Ms. Davis is responsible for providing ethics advice to the City's workforce of over 3,000 employees, as well as to elected and appointed officials, candidates, and those doing or seeking business with the City.

Ms. Davis provides requested and mandatory training on the ethics provisions contained in the City of Pittsburgh's Code of Conduct and Home Rule Charter. She leads the effort to secure required annual financial disclosures from Pittsburgh's public officials and public employees. Ms. Davis also oversees the Board's quasi-judicial process to investigate and enforce violations that may arise.

In 2011, Leanne Davis began her employment with the City of Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, Pittsburgh's local civil rights agency. Ms. Davis is a member of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws. She serves on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association and has a background in labor, employment, and civil rights law.

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