Philadelphia, January 15, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement on the passing of Joan Markman, the City’s first Chief Integrity Officer:
“Joan Markman was passionate about her work – she defined what it means to be a public servant. We are devastated and deeply saddened at the news of the passing of our friend. While we knew that Joan had been very ill, she also maintained an incredible level of activity and focus in a huge battle against the disease that has challenged her for the last few years. Her judgment and influence were felt throughout the Administration on a broad range of issues.
“Our prayers are with her, her husband James and their family. I am deeply, personally saddened by this loss, but Philadelphia has benefitted from her leadership and wisdom. Joan was a fighter and a champion who believed in integrity, who believed in the goodness of people, and honest, transparent government. She loved her work. We will miss her. The City of Philadelphia has a more ethical environment thanks to Joan Markman.”
Joan Markman, 57, was a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Virginia Law School. In one of his first acts as Mayor, Mayor Nutter appointed Joan as the City’s first ever Chief Integrity Officer on January 7, 2008 and placed her office directly next to his to symbolically indicate how important he believed her new role would be to the Administration and City government.
During her tenure at City Hall, the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer brought transparency, clarity and awareness to City employees and officials, boards and commissions members, vendors and citizens regarding the City’s ethics rules. The Office launched the IntegrityWorks website which provides easy-to-understand, user-friendly guidance on ethics requirements and how to apply them in daily situations. Joan also directed efforts to strengthen the City’s policies concerning gifts, nepotism, outside employment and sexual harassment through the creation of Mayoral Executive Orders, and responded to hundreds of ethics inquiries ranging from gifts and invitations to contracting, political activity and use of City facilities and equipment.
Under Joan’s leadership, the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer investigated and resolved numerous charges of possibly unethical behavior including a proposed waste management contract between the City of Philadelphia and Synagro WWT, LLC, in which an overcharge for a pass-through vendor was uncovered and eliminated, saving the City more than $9 million over the course of the 23-year contract. Joan also led the ARRA (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) Compliance and Control Program, in partnership with the Inspector General’s office, which was established to ensure that federal stimulus funds received were spent properly.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 18th at 3:00 p.m. at Society Hill Synagogue, 418 Spruce Street in Philadelphia.