Top PLCB official to retire days before ethics report - abc27 WHTM

Top PLCB official to retire days before ethics report

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A top official with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will leave the job just two days before he is expected to be named in a State Ethics Commission report.

The PLCB acknowledged during a bi-monthly meeting Wednesday that marketing director James Short will retire on March 15, but had no comment regarding the timing of his retirement.

A source close to the Ethics Commission, however, told abc27 News that results of an investigation into several top PLCB officials will be released two days later, on March 17.

The source said Short, former chief executive officer Joe Conti, and former board member Patrick J. "PJ" Stapleton III will be named in the report.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in Aug. 2012 that the Ethics Commission had launched an investigation into allegations the three officials accepted gifts and favors from vendors and other businesses with an interest in liquor regulation.

The report cited a confidential report by the Inspector General's Office that alleged Short and the others accepted gifts and favors in 2011, including wine and tickets to sporting events and golf tournaments.

Short began a 29-year career with the PLCB as a store clerk in 1984 and was named marketing director in 2003, according to a spokeswoman. He earned a salary just shy of $114,000.

Conti left the PLCB in February 2013 and Stapleton stepped down in October 2012.


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