Pittsburgh Gov Guide, A website of The Pittsburgh Foundation

Ethics Hearing Board

The Ethics Hearing Board (EHB) and its staff implement the Ethics Code provisions of the City of Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances to issue advice; publish advisory opinions; review complaints; perform investigations; hold hearings; enforce violations; conduct educational trainings; assist with required disclosures and maintain campaign finance reports, records and other duties as outlined in the Code. The Executive Manager serves as the Board’s appointed Ethics Officer to provide ethics advice, maintain the administrative apparatus of the Board and conduct those functions explicitly delegated to him/her by the Board in the periods between meetings.

The EHB is comprised of nine members, all required to be residents of the City of Pittsburgh.

The City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board has three main functions:

  • Give advice on the application of the ethics provisions in the City’s Code of Conduct and Home Rule Charter in accordance with § 197.13 of the Ethics Code.
  • Conduct educational programs to promote the ethical conduct of Pittsburgh public officials and employees.
  • Receive and resolve complaints of unethical conduct through investigation, hearings and enforcement.

Ethical matters under the authority of the Board include:

  • Campaign finance.
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Financial disclosures.
  • Use of authority and property.
  • Political activity.
  • Nepotism.
  • Post-employment restrictions.

Cases can be self-initiated by the department, submitted by a complainant or received from a third party. The EHB only handles employee complaints. Referrals are sometimes received from The Commission on Human Relations and The Citizen Police Review Board. Most cases fall under campaign finance matters. 

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About the Ethics Hearing Board

Below is a list of contents of the Ethics Hearing Board's Transition Brief (prepared by Thomas Consulting Group for The Pittsburgh Foundation). 


  • Conflict of interest. It is imperative the office assisting the Board is diligent in addressing any possible implications of impropriety.
  • Public hearings. According to meeting records, a determination has not been made by the Board regarding holding Public Hearings to accommodate current safety restrictions. The issue was first addressed in February 2021. A determination must be made as to whether the enforcement duties are being met.


  • Agency goals. 
  • Performance metrics. 
  • Budget.
  • Programs and projects.
  • Opportunities and risks. 

Download the full report